airy smile

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monalisa!

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My post has disappeared:

we found an explanation for
airy wine (sprayed into air)
and, for airy smile,

" That would be nice . "From the doorway , Corrie gave Matthew an airy smile as she floated into the study and took his arm .Casting Krista a you-owe-me glance , she led him off down the hall.
(Kat Martin : Heart of Honor. N.Y. 2007, Chapter 4)
I suppose Cagey, offered "nonchalant" smile,
I asked : how do you imagine an airy smile, ?
 
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  • perpend

    Banned
    American English
    (Off-topic: @monalisa!, Your thread did disappear into thin air, :), as did many others --- see the yellow area above. Maybe you saw it. Just an FYI. Maybe you can recover some of it.)
     

    monalisa!

    Banned
    spanish
    I was not able to recover my airy thread, if someone pastes my quote on to a google search can find the context, and tell me if it is imperceptible or cheerful.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I think that it will be easiest if everyone answers the question about 'airy smile' without worrying about what was said before.
    Copying previous posts into this thread will only be confusing.

    My own impression is that an 'airy smile' shows a certain lack of concern and is somewhat impersonal. It's not the way a mother would smile at a child, but it's the kind of smile someone might give when their attention is elsewhere.
     

    gramman

    Senior Member
    Darn! I've had that "disappeared into thin air" joke lined up and ready to go for hours! :(

    One point: I don't recall airy wine being anything like "sprayed into air." I thought the consensus was something about it being light.

    I've saved a more or less accurate copy of the original thread in an attached Word doc. Hopefully not too confusing. ;)
     

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    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Chambers Englsih Dictionary (1990) gives two different meanings for 'airy' in relation to human gesture or manner: 'sprightly' and 'offhand'.

    'Offhand' means 'nonchalant' or 'unconcerned'.

    'Sprightly', on the other hand, suggests that the person wishes to convey an impression of liveliness and naturalness. 'Airy' is often used with this meaning when the author implies that the person wishes to create the impression of naturalness deliberately, in order to put other people off their guard, because in reality the person has some hidden purpose in mind.
     

    monalisa!

    Banned
    spanish
    : I don't recall airy wine being anything like "sprayed into air." I thought the consensus was something about it being light.
    ;)
    It was a September evening and all the gaps and clearings in the woods were brimmed up with ruby sunset light .Here and there the lane was splashed with it , but for the most part it was alreadyquite shadowy beneath the maples , and the spaces under the firs were filled with a clear violet dusk like airy wine.The winds were out in their tops , and there is no sweeter music on earth than that which the wind makes in the fir trees at evening .
    Can't be light wine!
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    I think it is a light wine, like a Lambrusco. It makes sense with the "violet dusk".
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Here and there the lane was splashed with it , but for the most part it was alreadyquite shadowy beneath the maples , and the spaces under the firs were filled with a clear violet dusk like airy wine
    This context shows that the author is talking about the colours created by the sunset in the shadows of the woods.
    The phrase 'airy wine' consciously stretches the meaning of the words beyond the normal.
    The author's intention is to say:
    "the colour of the shadows under the firs resembled a dark wine (if one may speak of air in terms of wine)".
    Even so, it is still imprecise language, since air has no colour in any case.
     
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    monalisa!

    Banned
    spanish
    Someone observed that airy wine is a better form of winey air.That makes sense!, purple wine not sprayed into THE air, but turned into aerosol: sprayed into air:
    or not?
     

    monalisa!

    Banned
    spanish
    I found another example, here the airy wine is the day's loveliness:
    I just want to drink the day 's loveliness in . . .I feel as if she were holding it out to my lips like a cup of airy wine and I 'll take a sip at every step . "Perhaps it was because she was so absorbed in " drinking it in " that Anne took the left turning when they came to a fork in the road .
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    In that case, airy is less figurative. The wine consists of the day's loveliness, thus it is composed of air. That isn't a use that parallels the airy of airy wave or airy smile.
     

    monalisa!

    Banned
    spanish

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    When I was searching for examples for "airy wine" for my post that got deleted :(, I found several instances where a light and airy wine was contrasted with its opposite qualities, which gave a good basis for me saying (if I can remember) that an airy wine is not intense, robust, strong or intense. It seems to be better defined by what it is not. It seems to be the sort of wine that you want to drink in summer, so- light but in a good way.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US

    monalisa!

    Banned
    spanish
    Chambers Englsih Dictionary (1990) gives two different meanings for 'airy' in relation to human gesture or manner: 'sprightly' and 'offhand'.
    'Offhand' means 'nonchalant' or 'unconcerned'.'Sprightly', on the other hand, suggests that the person wishes to convey an impression of liveliness and naturalness. 'Airy' is often used with this meaning when the author implies that the person wishes to create the impression of naturalness deliberately, in order to put other people off their guard, because in reality the person has some hidden purpose in mind.
    Just a recap:
    airy wine, is a technical term used by connoisseurs, and is a kind of light wine (not necessarily white), but it takes an expert to tell us what it means,( they use strange words like floral etc..)
    airy smile, is rather meaningless, it has been noted
    airy gesture, is more intriguing, and I hope we can get more opinions. It surely can be much more expressive than a smile as it can have thousands of variations, the question is what is the gesture you imagine when you read such different examples:

    Shedismissed that with an airy wave of her gloved hand . "What has that got to do with it ?
    Heavens , no , " she assured him with an airy wave of her hand . "Whatever gave you that idea ?
    " Just start anywhere , dear , " Milly advised with an airy wave of her hand .
    " Not at all , " Matilda said ." The roads were dreadful , " said Jo with an airy wave of her hand . "I told Mother we should wait another few days , give the roads a chance to dry out , but she would n't listen .

    I (for one) am lost!
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    Me too! I am lost as well. I think you, monalisa!, are dismissing the meaning of "airy" Peace out.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    And so, with an airy wave of his hand and an equally airy smile, he closed the thread for having rather too much airiness to it.
     
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