new big Primitive chapel, primitive enough...

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longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(para. 75, chapter 11) by Lawrence(the University of Adelaide,here):
(background:The Connie's car ploughed uphill through the village Tevershall, and she saw the blackened brick dwellings, the black slate roofs glistening their sharp edges, the mud black with coal-dust, and the wet and black pavements. Then was the following words)

It was as if dismalness had soaked through and through everything. The utter negation of natural beauty, the utter negation of the gladness of life, the utter absence of the instinct for shapely beauty which every bird and beast has, the utter death of the human intuitive faculty was appalling. The stacks of soap in the grocers’ shops, the rhubarb and lemons in the greengrocers! the awful hats in the milliners! all went by ugly, ugly, ugly, followed by the plaster-and-gilt horror of the cinema with its wet picture announcements, ‘A Woman’s Love!’, and the new big Primitive chapel, primitive enough in its stark brick and big panes of greenish and raspberry glass in the windows.

Since that it's new, why is it also primitive(=old, I think)? And why the first Primitive is capitalized please?
Thank you in advance
 
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  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    In "...and the new big Primitive chapel, primitive enough..." Primitive/primitive is a pun. When capitalised 'Primitive' is a proper noun and an abbreviation of "Primitive Methodist". The Methodists/Methodism is a sect of the Christian belief system, and "Primitive Methodist" is a subset of Methodism.

    However, "primitive" is the common adjective, -> (of objects) without modern or current adornments; basic; minimal; poorly equipped and old-fashioned; usually unattractive or otherwise negative.
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Thank you two.
    The pun theory is very useful for me.
    And now, how come the glass is greenish and raspberry at the same time?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    And now, how come the glass is greenish and raspberry at the same time?
    It isn't. There are two types of glass in the windows - some with a greenish tinge and some with a reddish tinge.

    big panes of greenish glass and raspberry glass
    in the windows.
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    English is really sometimes confusing:):
    a red and blue dress=a dress which is both red and blue

    while

    greenish and raspberry glass=greenish glass and raspberry glass

    I would use greenish or raspberry glass, if I were Lawrence.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    That is why you are not Lawrence... :D "greenish or raspberry glass," sounds as if you are uncertain of the colour of the glass.

    Lawrence's description is perfect, but it assumes that the reader is familiar with such types glass and their use in some churches. And the typical reader would be.

     
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    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    a red and blue dress = a dress which is both red and blue
    greenish and raspberry glass = glass which is both greenish and raspberry
    greenish or raspberry glass = glass which is either greenish or raspberry: I can't tell which because I'm colour-blind


    X-posted with MrQ who said the same thing.
     
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