clutching a scotch

TheNameOfAWind

Senior Member
Italian
Hi everyone!

A woman, questioned by a police officer, is trying to remember what she saw in a parking lot the night her friend was killed.

Ansil Merriwether’s navy Cadillac with the dented fender was parked across two spots. He’d probably been clutching a scotch when he arrived for drinks with his cronies.

La Cadillac blu scuro di Ansil Merriwether col paraurti ammaccato era parcheggiata male e occupava due posti. Probabilmente si era già fatto uno scotch quando era arrivato per bere con i suoi compari.

edit: Anvil parked the car before he met his friends, and then left the car in the parking lot overnight. She sees the car in the morning.

"He'd been clutching a scotch" is a way to say that Ansil had been drinking before he arrived at the club? Or it has nothing to do with the whiskey and means something else?

Thank you :)
 
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  • sorry66

    Senior Member
    English, England
    H was holding a 'scotch' (a drink - maybe a bottle) tightly in his hand when he met his friends for a drink. It's just a physical description of what he is carrying in his hand.
     

    TheNameOfAWind

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Ok, sorry, I missed one piece of information. The man parked the car before he met his friend for drinking; after that he leaved the car in the parking lot for the night. So my doubt is, is she saying that Anvil had been drinking before he arrived, or that he was physically holding a glass while parking?
     

    ohbice

    Senior Member
    Probabilmente aveva in mano una bottiglia di whiskey ha lo stesso significato di Probabilmente si era scolato un bottiglia (o comunque una buona quantità) di whiskey... almeno a mio parere.
    Ultimissima cosa: era parcheggiata male e occupava due posti mi sembra un po' ridondante... forse direi era parcheggiata su due spazi, a cavallo di due spazi.
    Ciao :)
    p
     

    ohbice

    Senior Member
    Ciao Mark, tutto è possibile (in questo caso si tratta di una ricostruzione a posteriori, quindi sono tutte ipotesi). Magari le difficoltà nel parcheggio sono dovute proprio al fatto che aveva in mano un bicchiere, e quindi faticava a manovrare :)
    Solo, a me sembra più probabile che avesse in mano una bottiglia: non so perché ma anche l'idea di una borraccetta non riesce a convincermi del tutto.
    A meno che il testo non dica, da qualche parte, che era un bevitore non occasionale.
    Ciao :)
    p
     

    TheNameOfAWind

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Purtroppo sto facendo una prova di traduzione, quindi del testo ho solo le prima pagine :)
    Sul fatto che è tutta una supposizione siamo d'accordo, il mio dubbio era più che altro sui tempi verbali. Per capirci, se questo whiskey l'aveva tenuto in mano un po' troppo prima di arrivare nel parcheggio, oppure se ce l'aveva in mano mentre parcheggiava.

    Opterò per qualcosa di colorito e glisserò sulla questione bicchiere/bottiglia/borraccia (guidare con un bicchiere in mano mi suona strano pure per un alcolizzato, arrivare a un club esclusivo con una bottiglia di whiskey altrettanto, ma forse un po' meno). In italiano però la metonimia è usata quasi esclusivamente per indicare il bicchiere. Se io dico "aveva una vodka in mano", immagino una persona con un bicchiere di vodka, non con una bottiglia intera. In inglese va bene anche per indicare la bottiglia?

    Ah, si può dire? Pensavo che lo Scotch® fosse il vostro Sellotape®. Cosa che mi fa sempre sorridere quando lo sento. :)
    Whiskey è molto più comune, ma ordinare uno scotch al bar non è una cosa stranissima :)
     

    MR1492

    Senior Member
    English -USA
    He could be holding a glass or a bottle!:tick:


    We don't really know, we only know that he was holding it when he arrived at his club or wherever he met his friends.:tick:
    I am totally in agreement with sorry66 here. When I first read the OP, my thought was of someone in a Cadillac with a glass of Scotch whiskey in his hand (stringendo forte un bicchiere di Scotch whiskey nel mano???).

    Phil
     

    tsoapm

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Se io dico "aveva una vodka in mano", immagino una persona con un bicchiere di vodka, non con una bottiglia intera. In inglese va bene anche per indicare la bottiglia?
    To me it seems the same in English. I wouldn't think of a bottle of scotch (uncountable) as "a scotch", but a multitude of potential scotches ("portions" of scotch, countable)!
     

    TheNameOfAWind

    Senior Member
    Italian
    To me it seems the same in English. I wouldn't think of a bottle of scotch (uncountable) as "a scotch", but a multitude of potential scotches ("portions" of scotch, countable)!
    Now I'm confused and want to win this job just to ask the author about this scotch :)

    I thought of mentioning that, but I imagine the distinction in spelling isn't followed with the Italian loanword.
    It should and it is, actually, but it really depends on the rules of the specific editor.
     
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    sorry66

    Senior Member
    English, England
    I think if someone said 'he was a holding a scotch in his hand' without any context, I would think of a glass.
    But given that the person arrives somewhere with a scotch, I say it could just as likely be a bottle. You don't generally walk down the street or across a car park with a glass in your hand.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I think if someone said 'he was a holding a scotch in his hand' without any context, I would think of a glass.
    But given that the person arrives somewhere with a scotch, I say it could just as likely be a bottle. You don't generally walk down the street or across a car park with a glass in your hand.
    I think of a glass. not of a bottle, personally.
     

    sorry66

    Senior Member
    English, England
    You probably haven't been to Fantasy Fest in Key West, Florida or Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana. :)
    Nope!
    I think of a glass. not of a bottle, personally.
    In general so would I! So nothing about this situation makes you think a bottle might be possible? We can't rule out the possibility. And 'clutching' seems more appropriate for a bottle, somehow - depends on the type of glass, though!
     

    bobes

    Senior Member
    Italiano
    La macchina però aveva il paraurti ammaccato... questo era il motivo per cui ha parcheggiato con in mano lo scotch. Ha parcheggiato male perchè era agitato (chissà forse aveva investito qualcuno?)... to clutch = to take or try to take hold of something tightly, usually in fear, worry, or pain: era una bottiglia, nascosta nella classica busta di carta, comprata al volo. :eek:
     

    TheNameOfAWind

    Senior Member
    Italian
    La macchina però aveva il paraurti ammaccato... questo era il motivo per cui ha parcheggiato con in mano lo scotch. Ha parcheggiato male perchè era agitato (chissà forse aveva investito qualcuno?)... to clutch = to take or try to take hold of something tightly, usually in fear, worry, or pain: era una bottiglia, nascosta nella classica busta di carta, comprata al volo. :eek:
    Saresti un ottimo detective :) Ma no, è solo un tipo sbronzo che ha parcheggiato a casaccio.

    Per me ' clutching a scotch' non vuol dire una bottiglia, vuol dire un bicchiere. Se no avrebbe detto 'clutching a bottle of scotch'.;)
    Eh. Anche a me suona molto strano riferito a una bottiglia.
     

    sorry66

    Senior Member
    English, England
    Yes, but the woman is upset and might just have omitted to be precise and say 'a bottle of..'.
    On the other hand, if he's a 'sbronzo' he could have poured himself a whisky in the car and then walked in with it! He may even have parked badly because he was desperate for another drink.
     

    TheNameOfAWind

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Yes, but the woman is upset and might just have omitted to be precise and say 'a bottle of..'.
    On the other hand, if he's a 'sbronzo' he could have poured himself a whisky in the car and then walked in with it! He may even have parked badly because he was desperate for another drink.
    Everything is possible :)
    p.s. note that there's not such thing as "a sbronzo" in Italian. Unlike the English "drunk", "sbronzo" (just like "ubriaco") can only refer to the state of a person who is drunk at that very moment. To indicate a person who is usually or often drunk we say "ubriacone" or "alcolizzato".
     

    tsoapm

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    It had to be pointed out. They wouldn't have said 'scotch' in the original sentence if they hadn't meant 'whisky' and not 'whiskey'.
    Beh, since the OP doesn't say either 'whisky' or 'whiskey', I thought we were on the cusp of being OT, but evidently not. :)
    it really depends on the rules of the specific editor
    Now this intrigues me: what happens if the editor doesn't make the proper distinction? Just make an arbitrary decision between the two?
     
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    Pietruzzo

    Senior Member
    Italian
    My silly question of the day. If Anvil had been driving with a glass/bottle in one of his hands shouldn't have the woman said "he was clutching..." in place of "he had been clutching..."?. Could "clutching a scotch" be a colourful way to say "he had drunk whysky "?
    In any case this is the only thing which makes sense IMO, unless the woman knew it was a peculiar Anvil's habit to drive with bottles or glasses in his hands.
     

    sorry66

    Senior Member
    English, England
    Ansil Merriwether’s navy Cadillac with the dented fender was parked across two spots. He’d probably been clutching a scotch when he arrived for drinks with his cronies.
    @Pietruzzo
    For a regular drunk, you might say something like 'I saw Ansil last night, glass in hand, as usual'. 'Clutching a scotch' isn't a regular metaphor. 'Clutching' does suggest, however, that he was holding it tightly because it was precious to him.
    I think the suggestion is that the Ansil needs his liqueur and it wouldn't surprise the woman if he had been holding some such drink as scotch. She also concluded that from the irregular parking, and we can conclude from the dented fender that he often drives carelessly.
    Re: the tenses
    You're assuming the the 'arrived' means 'arrived at the parking lot' which is fair enough. Then it would be 'He was...'.
    I was assuming 'arrived' referred to him entering the club/venue. 'He'd been...' means that he was holding the scotch at some point, before entering the building.
    So he may or may not have been holding the scotch in the car, but by all means, it's fair to assume it, given the way he parked.
     
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