but not a carpet

AlexanderIII

Senior Member
Russian
Hi, everybody!
This is an expression from the documentary (film) "Close encounters in Siberia". An Italian scientist discovered that the branches of the trees stuck up from the bottom of the lake.
"But not a carpet"--he repeats in excitement as it was just the thing he had expected to discover.

I think this phrase (ambiguous to my mind) might be interpreted like:
1) the protruding branches cover the bottom of the lake like the hair (nap, pile) of a carpet;
2) the bottom covered by protruding branches is almost like a continuous carpet covered with hair (nap, pile).

Do you think it likely?
 
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    2) the bottom covered by protruding branches is almost like a continuous carpet covered with hair (nap, pile).
    Hi Alex. Well, I'd say the opposite of this: the branches aren't continuous, they only stick up out of the mud here and there. It sounds, from your description, as if he was expecting them to be discontinuous like that.
     

    AlexanderIII

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Hi, Ewie! Sorry for the late response. It may seem that the sense of the phrase boils down to what we mean by continuous or discontinuous. But in fact the branches (as I can see in the film) are situated not densely, but the area covered with this "nap" is vast. So no matter what the Italian scientist says in his Pidgin English the sense is clear. Thank you for your help, Ewie. You know that I am your man.
     
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