an apology for a desk


Senior Member
All her furniture seemed to be strays. She had a state-of-the-art PowerBook on an apology for a desk in the living room.

How should I understand the underlined expression?
My first guess is that there is a desk in the living room, which is in bad condition. So she bought a good, brand-new Powerbook in compensation for that.

The other guess is that there is not a desk and instead of a desk, she has a PowerBook and uses it as a desk. This is based on the meaning of the idiom "an apology for" , which is " to be a bad example of".

Which is correct?
Thanks in advance.
  • shawnee

    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    Your understanding here is quite correct. The desk 'is a bad example of... ' The writer has juxtaposed the two antithetical descriptions for optimum effect.
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