nothing punctured

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AlexanderIII

Senior Member
Russian
Hi, everybody,
Could you please help with a difficulty in the novel by Adrian McKinty "Fifty Grand"? In the scene the
woman slashes her rapist.


Confusion showed between his eyes and before he could say or do anything his own treasonous hunting knife slashed him across the belly.
Maroon venous blood, stomach fluids, coffee.
A deep laceration, nothing punctured, but enough to sear his nerve endings and get his attention.

Here is something I fail to understand. The stomach is definitely punctured as she can see its
contents. Obviously these are not her fantasies. Had she just scratched the rapist it would have
cost her her life. Why then "nothing punctured"? There is a creative method (way, trick) to describe
something paying no attention to obvious contradictions. This may be the case. Besides the author
may mean neither of the vital organs was punctured. Probably there are some other explanations.
Please, help!
 
  • Oeco

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Oh right! That's a particularly nasty image! Punctured I would suggest means a straight in push of the knife rather than the slashing that she did. But still, it's confusing.
     

    AlexanderIII

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Oh right! That's a particularly nasty image! Punctured I would suggest means a straight in push of the knife rather than the slashing that she did. But still, it's confusing.
    But Oeco, she "slashed him ACROSS the belly". If my understanding is correct, you mean not a slash, but a stab.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I think this (true) story illustrates the point perfectly.

    I was headed out to a commercial poultry abattoir. It was in the near wilderness and I asked a state trooper if he could give me directions.

    This is the conversation:

    Packard: Can you give me directions to the Perdue slaughterhouse?

    Trooper: I'm heading there to investigate a cutting; you can follow me there.

    Packard: A cutting?

    Trooper: Yeah. The guy got 180 stitches, but nothing serious. No punctures, just a neat slice through the skin. These guys work with knives all day long; he wasn't trying to hurt him, just to teach him a lesson.
     

    Bigote Blanco

    Senior Member
    Hi, everybody,
    Could you please help with a difficulty in the novel by Adrian McKinty "Fifty Grand"? In the scene the
    woman slashes her rapist.


    Confusion showed between his eyes and before he could say or do anything his own treasonous hunting knife slashed him across the belly.
    Maroon venous blood, stomach fluids, coffee.
    A deep laceration, nothing punctured, but enough to sear his nerve endings and get his attention.

    Here is something I fail to understand. The stomach is definitely punctured as she can see its
    contents. Obviously these are not her fantasies. Had she just scratched the rapist it would have
    cost her her life. Why then "nothing punctured"? There is a creative method (way, trick) to describe
    something paying no attention to obvious contradictions. This may be the case. Besides the author
    may mean neither of the vital organs was punctured. Probably there are some other explanations.
    Please, help!
    "stomach fluid" from a wound = the stomach was punctured. The auther simply may have made a mistake.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    "stomach fluid" from a wound = the stomach was punctured. The auther simply may have made a mistake.
    I missed the sentence about the coffee and the stomach fluids. I agree that it would indicate that the slash had penetrated the stomach. This would be a severe injury, not at all like the "...180 stitches, but nothing serious..." in my story.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    We could probably argue for pages whether (semantically speaking) something that has been sliced open has also been punctured.
    Being pedantic, one wonders how one makes a distinction between swallowed coffee and stomach fluids. Perhaps his thermos was also slashed or he has a special "shelf" in his stomach for coffee where it can't mix with anything else. ;)
     
    Second time with this novel for me, I'm starting to enjoy this author's style!

    He gives quick, vivid verbal flashes, as though trying to show pictures with words, sometimes in sequence, and I think sometimes not in sequence....

    It's hard to believe he made a mistake since he chose the word slash, which is a non-punture laceration of the skin that would cause surface bleedings, though, then goes on make the point that there is no puncture, but then, yes, does say "stomach fluids."

    I'm guessing of course, but it strikes me as highly likely that if one is being at first just slashed, one just might not only drop one's coffee, but possibly vomit in surprise, and that would be the stomach fluids.

    I think maybe that is how somebody would actually experience the attack, not as a then this, then this, then this, then this, but as an all at once, in sequence, out of sequence thing where sudden shock makes normal time experience irrelevant and not what is being perceived.

    I think you will have to read this author as though he is showing you a movie more than telling you a story.:)
     
    Last edited:

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I found the source online. [See below.] There is nothing that explains the discrepancy you are discussing here. The only explanation that occurs me to is that "nothing punctured" means that no vital organ was punctured. All she had done was slash the wall of the stomach. Later she stabs again and does more substantial damage. However, I don't know whether this explanation is plausible.

    Source: Google books. I hope the link works for other people. Access to a book on Google sometimes depends on the country you are in.
     

    Bigote Blanco

    Senior Member
    I found the source online. [See below.] There is nothing that explains the discrepancy you are discussing here. The only explanation that occurs me to is that "nothing punctured" means that no vital organ was punctured. All she had done was slash the wall of the stomach. Later she stabs again and does more substantial damage. However, I don't know whether this explanation is plausible.

    Source: Google books. I hope the link works for other people. Access to a book on Google sometimes depends on the country you are in.
    I checked it out and read the context. The link worked, but I don't know about this author. He gets a little carried away in imagining things; He needs to study anatomy. A bloody, wet testicle rolling on the ground - hate to tell you folks, but they really don't roll much. How would one possibly know the epididymis was cut. It's not something one could see or identify in two seconds. Stomach fluid, but nothing punctured. Nope this just simply doesn't fly.
     

    AlexanderIII

    Senior Member
    Russian
    It dawned on me that the discrepancy could be explained as a comforting (consolatory, consoling) and scoffing (mocking) remark addressed to the rapist. Nothing punctured = (I give a long explanatioin as it would literally sound in Russian) It is just nothing, just a scratch, soon I'll show you a real cut. I've never come across constructions like this before in English but I am sure they must exist.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    It dawned on me that the discrepancy could be explained as a comforting (consolatory, consoling) and scoffing (mocking) remark addressed to the rapist. Nothing punctured = (I give a long explanatioin as it would literally sound in Russian) It is just nothing, just a scratch, soon I'll show you a real cut. I've never come across constructions like this before in English but I am sure they must exist.

    I call it "hyperventilated-stream-of-consciousness" construction. With the hyperventilated writing, plausibility, grammar, and timeline often go out the window. The only goal is to try and make the reader "experience" the event.

    (Plausibility and grammar are overrated in any event. :))
     
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