streaked with salt

Discussion in 'English Only' started by jacdac, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. jacdac

    jacdac Senior Member

    He paid cash and got a key and walked along the row to his room, all hunched under his collar to ward off the blowing snow. Ten rooms had cars parked outside, all rimed with snow and streaked with salt, all with plates from states to the south, all laden with luggage and packages.
    Source: No Middle Name by Lee Child
    Context: Christmas Eve. It is snowing. Reacher checked into a motel.

    The cards are streaked with salt means salt has been spread over the cars for the snow to snow, right?

    Other words I looked up:
    rimed: covered (an object) with hoarfrost (=a grayish-white crystalline deposit of frozen water vapor formed in clear still weather on vegetation, fences, etc.)

    Thank you.
  2. Copyright

    Copyright Mod Cat

    American English
    I think you mean "spread over the cars for the snow to melt." If so, no one would ever do this – salt is corrosive to paint and metalwork.

    Salt is spread on snow-covered roads to melt the snow faster ... as it melts, the snow turns into a slushy soup and as you drive through it, your tires throw this salty, slushy snow onto your car, and the velocity at which it is thrown creates streaks along the side of your car. They are most easily seen behind the front tires and along the front doors, but really, salt gets everywhere. You need to get it off the car as soon as possible.
  3. jacdac

    jacdac Senior Member

    Thank you.
  4. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    In the USA and I would assume other countries, municipalities apply granular salt to the roadways when it snows. The coarse grained salt provides some added traction and it also causes the ice and snow to melt. The residue of the salt ends up on the car bodies. The patterns of the residue vary. Here is one with streaks:

  5. jacdac

    jacdac Senior Member

    Thank you.

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