swooped through the shaky signal

MaryamSeresht

Senior Member
Persian
Hi,

What does "swooped through the shaky signal" mean? Here two people, one from US, the other from India talks on the phone, but there's lots of noise on the line, and they couldn't hear each other.

"The watchman's wife went outside and studied the precarious wire, the fragile connection trembling over ravines and over mountains, over Kanchenjunga smoking like a volcano or a cigar- a bird might have alighted upon it, a nightjar might have swooped through the shaky signal, ........."

Could it be mean the bird sat on the wire, because of a shaky signal by wire?

Many thanks.
It's part of Inheritance of Loss, a novel by Kiran Desai.
 
  • cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    "The watchman's wife went outside and studied the precarious wire, the fragile connection trembling over ravines and over mountains, over Kanchenjunga smoking like a volcano or a cigar- a bird might have alighted upon it, a nightjar might have swooped through the shaky signal, ........."

    Could it be mean the bird sat on the wire, :tick: because of a shaky signal by wire?:cross:
    A bird (nightjar) might have flown through the weak signal causing interference.
     

    cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    It seems that the watchman's wife believes that a radio signal travels in a narrow, straight line and that a bird's flying through the weak signal (as if it were a beam of visible light) will interfere with it.
     
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