grovellings

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luitzen

Senior Member
Frisian, Dutch and Low Saxon
From John Norman's Outlaw of Gor:

Could it be that the smoke of the burning sacrifices, the fragrance of the incense, the mumbling of the Initiates, their prostrations and grovellings were all addressed to nothing but the empty peaks of the Sardar, to the snow, and the cold and the wind that howled among those black crags?

I understand that the double l is something British. The -s indicates that it is a plural noun, but if I look around on the internet, I cannot find grovelling as a noun anywhere. Since grovellings does make some sense, however, I wonder whether grovellings is really intended or whether it is a misspelling of grovelling.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Norman has chosen the unusual "grovellings" to mean "many different instances of grovelling". It is as though the author were looking down at some mass of people as we imagine a god might do. Unimpressed, the observer sees different "grovellings" as these Initiates seek to curry favor with a deity.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    That's right, luitzen. Remember that Norman's "grovellings" is unusual. I wouldn't advise you to begin pluralizing every gerund or verbal noun that you see.
     
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