seventeen years, for over a century

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MaryamSeresht

Senior Member
Persian
Hello,

I have 3 questions:
1- The original sign belongs to 17 years ago?
2- All the other signs belong to over a century ago? or the original sign?
3- since when Mrs Reid had it painted?

The times are so confusing for me! I have read this simple thing many times, but still is complicated to me!:confused:

Here, the Stationer is getting a new sign for above his shop. Many years ago the shop was a Confectionary, belongs to Mrs M. Reid.
Yesterday two men broke the shop sign off the front above Keith's the Stationer, because Keith's the Stationer is getting a newly designed sign, and underneath on the shop front the original sign is still there and this is what it says, what it's said under there for seventeen years, what it's said in the dark under all the other signs for over a century since Mrs Reid had it painted and opened her shop after the death of her husband............
From Hotel World by Ali Smith.
Many thanks.
 
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The sign saying "Keith the Stationer" was on top of the original sign for 17 years. Before that, other signs were on top of the original sign. The original sign was the one Mrs Reid had painted over a century ago.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    The original sign is over a century old. For the past 17 years it has been hidden beneath the "Keith's the Stationer" sign, but Keith's sign is just the latest in a number of signs that have hidden the original sign.

    Having said this, the narrator may have made an error. Mrs Reid had the sign painted and opened her shop over a century ago, but it will not have been hidden by other signs during all this period. For at least some time at the beginning, it would not have been hidden at all.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    The original sign was the one Mrs Reid had painted over a century ago.
    More likely to be "had had painted" over a hundred years ago. It is not likely she painted it herself. She most likely got/had somebody to paint it for her.
    " to have something done"
     
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