I rustle my hair, trying to dry it

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susanna76

Senior Member
Romanian
Hi,

I was reading a short story in the American literary magazine Ruminate, and found the following sentence:
I rustle my hair, trying to dry it.

Is it ok to "rustle" one's hair (or someone else's)? I haven't seen this construction before.

Thank you!
 
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It sounds strange to me - I would have suggested the author was perhaps confusing it with 'ruffle', but since it's in an American literary magazine, I guess it must be OK.

    In AE, at least.
     

    susanna76

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    I'm thinking the author might have used it for effect, but to me "rustle" is primarily about sound . . . . Hm, I ruffled my hair just now and it did rustle!!
     

    Rhye

    Senior Member
    English - American
    rustle
    verb (used with object), rustled, rustling.
    4.
    to move or stir so as to cause a rustling sound:
    The wind rustled the leaves.


    A less common usage, yes, but it looks okay to me.
     

    Rhye

    Senior Member
    English - American
    The main problem for me is that writer is talking about wet hair. Dry leaves make a rustling sound. Wet leaves would neither blow nor rustle.
    That's a bit of a non sequitur, don't you think? Hair and leaves are not the same thing—just because "A" will only rustle when it is wet does not mean "B" will act the same way. There is no "dryness" inherent in the word.
     
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