(the) cremation

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VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
Playfair addresses Joe -- the spirit possessing Janet's body -- holding an urn in his hands:
-- Hello, Joe. You recognise this? It's your ashes, Joe. It's what's left of your body after cremation. They're in here because you're dead.
The Enfield Haunting, TV series

Shouldn't 'cremation' have taken the definite article, because it's a specific cremation? Thank you.
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I think I'd say (talking about the specific cremation):

    It's what was left of your body after the cremation.

    It's what's left of your body after cremation. -
    seems to be telling Joe what happens to a body (anyone's body) after cremation. Perhaps the speaker thought Joe didn't know he was dead and had been cremated, and was trying to break it to him gently by not referring to the actual cremation—the one that he may have been unaware of.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    It's what's left of your body after cremation. - seems to be telling Joe what happens to a body (anyone's body) after cremation. Perhaps the speaker thought Joe didn't know he was dead and had been cremated, and was trying to break it to him gently by not referring to the actual cremation—the one that he may have been unaware of.
    Can we then say that the blue "your" refers to Joe, and the green "your" refers to any person in general?:)
    It's your ashes, Joe. It's what's left of your body after cremation. They're in here because you're dead.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Can we then say that the blue "your" refers to Joe, and the green "your" refers to any person in general?:)
    Yes, it looks to me as though he's explaining to Joe "what happens when someone is cremated". This was probably unintentional on the part of the scriptwriter, but that's what the wording suggests to me.
     
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