'late December evening' = 'late in Dec.' or 'late in the evening'?

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Senior Member
A long train journey on a late December evening in this new version of peace, is a dreary experience
Hello everyone. I'm a little bit confused about the meaning of the bold part. does it mean:

A) A long train journey in the late December (like from 25th to 31st of December) in the evening is a dreary experience.


B) A long train journey in the late evening in the month of December is a dreary experience.

Which one is correct? A or B? I mean "late" is for December or Evening? "late evening in December" or "an evening in the late December"?
Thank you
  • Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    I'd say that (A) is the more likely reading, though some would insist on 'late-December' being hyphenated to permit this reading.

    Please name the source.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    I would definitely read it as A.

    If the author or speaker had meant B, he or she would be more likely to have said something like 'A long late-evening train journey inDecember in this new version of peace, is a dreary experience.'


    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I would also go for interpretation (A) also from two more things:

    1. If it's a long rail journey, it would last longer than the late evening period.
    2. Further down in the paragraph there is reference to the light going out entirely in 'the frequent Pennine tunnels', suggesting that there is still light. In the late evening period in England, it would be darkness outside.

    There is a pdf version of the story here.
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