Darwin's dash to complete

Discussion in 'English Only' started by gvergara, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. gvergara

    gvergara Senior Member

    Santiago, Chile
    Español
    Hi,

    I don't know how to correctly interpret the noun dash in this context. Hard as I've tried, I haven't found a definition that matches its usage here. Context: Daisy has assigned her father different readings.

    He was behind with his assignments from Daisy. With one toe occasionally controlling a fresh input of hot water, he blearly read an account of Darwin's dash to complete The Origins of Species, ...
    From "Saturday" by Ian McEwan

    Thanks in advance,

    Gonzalo
     
  2. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    London
    English - South-East England
    Rush or haste, or 'sprint' to the end.
     
  3. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
  4. gvergara

    gvergara Senior Member

    Santiago, Chile
    Español
    But does it make sense to you to say that he read an account of Darwin's dash? I understand it's something he did in haste, but its usage in this sentence is clear to me.
     
  5. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    Yes, it makes sense.
    He read an account about the way in which Darwin hurried to complete The Origin of the Species.
     
  6. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    London
    English - South-East England
    No, but it doesn't say Darwin's dash, it says Darwin's dash to complete 'The Origin of Species'. It's incomplete without the complement of 'dash', and the whole thing does sound right.
     
  7. gvergara

    gvergara Senior Member

    Santiago, Chile
    Español
    You're right, now I get it. Thanks a lot.
     

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