point of stuffiness

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Senior Member
Dear all,
this from the sketch 'Professional Youth' (1923) by Dorothy Parker.

It comes out that one orgy after another is bogey for them and their regular bedtime is all hours, at the earliest. They confide that you could count on the thumbs of one hand the number of sober breaths that they have drawn since they got out of grammar school. Rather uncomfortably blood-chilling are the tales they tell of the crimes that they have committed when the beast in them was unleashed by the Haig boys; how they paid a hansom driver to let them climb up in his seat and take the reins, or went right up to a policeman and asked him how he got that way, or drove around and around the park in an open taxicab, singing “Lord Geoffrey Amherst” in harmony close to the point of stuffiness.

This driving around and around the park is mentioned in the story by Mrs. Parker You were perfectly fine too, the rider was absolutely drunk then. Probably harmony could refer both to singing and to the state of things in the crammed taxicab. Is this correct?
  • dermott

    Senior Member
    B.E. via Australian English
    Harmony refers to the singing style. Harmony close means close harmony. In close harmony, the notes sung by the singers are very close together, closer than in normal harmony.

    In other words, the notes they were singing were so close together that they created a stuffiness. More of Ms Parker's wonderful creativity.
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