How could one say Yes?…… Why should one be pinned down...?

longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover( para.45) by Lawrence (the University of Adelaide,here):
How could one ever know? How could one say Yes?…… Why should one be pinned down by that butterfly word? Of course it had to flutter away and be gone, to be followed by other yes’s and no’s! Like the straying of butterflies.
The Chinese version translated "one" as "somebody" or "people". But I doubt it and feel "one" is also likely to be "Connie herself/I" or "Clifford', Connie's husband. And I think "Connie herself/I" is the most possible, because this will be understandable in logic and I found a definition of "one" by a Learner's Dictionary: British, old-fashioned:I or we



    • I would like to read more, but one doesn't have the time.
Thank you in advance
 
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  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    In the text you quote, one = "a person".

    I would like to read more, but one doesn't have the time.
    No. You're talking about yourself, so you use the personal pronoun: ". . . but I don't have the time."
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    In the text you quote, one = "a person".


    No. You're talking about yourself, so you use the personal pronoun: ". . . but I don't have the time."
    Thank you. But Bennymix said (here) "But 'yes' [I'll stay with you] could only be fleetingly true". And at Connie's time, which was conservative, the possibility that a person said "yes" to Connie's sexual behaviour with others was little, except her husband, Clifford. And I think only Connie was pinned down by that butterfly word. It had nothing to do with other people(a person).
     
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    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    It is the use of "one" to mean "people", but it's possible (as here) to use "one" when talking about oneself. It's old-fashioned and "upper-class".
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, people thinking about their own thoughts and preferences sometimes use "one" to suggest that they are not talking exclusively about themselves, but about the thoughts and preferences people in general. In Britain this habit of speech is sometimes associated with HM the Queen - as mentioned in the Wikipedia article on the pronoun one.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_(pronoun)
     
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