lisp of silk against silk

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kahroba

Senior Member
Persian
Dear all
What is meant by "lisp of silk against silk" in the following context from "The Day of the Locust" by Nathanael West:
He thought that he heard the lisp of silk against silk, but it was only the wind playing in the trees.
Is that just whispering of the wind? or the leaves?
 
  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    He is trying to convey the sound of silk rubbing against silk--a nearly silent sibilant sound--a hiss of sorts.
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    He may have thought that he heard a woman wearing a silk dress. "Lisp" is just an attempt to describe what sound a silk garment would make.
     

    Rival

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    It's rather a strange choice of words.

    As Packard points out, it's a "sibilant sound--a hiss of sorts", while a lisp is the inability to pronounce sibilant sounds. A typical lisp uses -th- instead of -s-.
    .
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    It's rather a strange choice of words.

    As Packard points out, it's a "sibilant sound--a hiss of sorts", while a lisp is the inability to pronounce sibilant sounds. A typical lisp uses -th- instead of -s-.
    .
    The writer might have confused the "whistling s" speech impediment with the "lisp", or he might have thought the "th" sound more like the sound of rustling silk against silk. But in any case he is trying to convey the sound of silk moving against silk.
     
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