letters spelled doom

kahroba

Senior Member
Persian
What's meant by "letters ... spelled doom" in the following context from "Manhattan Transfer" [1925] by Dos Passos:
Time: around 1910
Location: a parlorcar near Atlantic City. It's raining.
White letters A T L A N T I C C I T Y, spelled doom over the rainpitted water.
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    to spell (used figuratively in this context) = to foretell; to prophesy; to give warning of; [something]

    over the rainpitted water is the place where they were foretelling; prophesying; giving warning of; doom
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    White letters A T L A N T I C C I T Y, spelled doom over the rainpitted water. = White letters, A T L A N T I C C I T Y, warned of disaster (placed as they were) above the water that was being hit by raindrops.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Additional: It could also mean: White letters, A T L A N T I C C I T Y, warned of disaster (placed as they were) above on the other side of the water that was being hit by raindrops. (i.e. he was crossing a river or something like that.)
     
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