non-garage sale furniture

omarow

Senior Member
Turkiye - Turkish
Hello everyone,

Direct quote from Fear Nothing by Lisa Gardner:

Cramped one-bedroom, D.D. observed. Definitely a bachelor abode, given the ratio of TV size to non–garage sale furniture items. Tidy enough, though. Sgarzi might be living lower on the economic ladder, but he’d made some effort with the space.

Does it mean that even if he tries to sell these furniture items in a garage sale, they wouldn't bring much money?

My second question is: "given the ratio of TV size to non–garage sale furniture items." What does she mean by that? Is the TV better compared to the furniture? Or both the TV size and the furniture items indicate the same thing, that is, the tenant is low on the economic ladder.
 
  • Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    My guess: The size of the TV, compared to the number of pieces of furniture that were not bought at garage sales, is large.
    That is: There is a large, expensive TV. On the other hand, most of the furniture was bought at garage sales (i.e. is second-hand, cheap, possibly in poor condition).
     

    omarow

    Senior Member
    Turkiye - Turkish
    Thanks, Hildy1.

    One question, though. Why does the author say non-garage sale items if they are garage sale items?
     

    Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    The number of non-garage-sale items is small. (Most of the furniture is from garage sales; there are only a few new things.) The TV is large. The ratio of the (large) TV to the (small) number of non-garage-sale items indicates that this is the apartment of a bachelor.
    According to a common stereotype, unmarried men want to have a large TV, but don't care much about the quality of their furniture.

    I should have mentioned before that there should be a hyphen between "garage" and "sale": non-garage-sale items.
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    Greetings

    Hildy1 is quite right, but I would add that the original sentence is in fact rather badly written, as "ratio" normally implies a numerical comparison (say the ratio between the new and the second-hand pieces of furniture".

    Better would have been "the contrast between the size of the TV and the (number of the) garage-sale furniture items...".

    Σ
     
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