Their straggly ponytails freshly blow-dried

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hack3rcon

Senior Member
Russian
Hello.
I'm reading Mafiaboy book by Michael Calce and I want to know in below text what does "The old-school hackers, their straggly ponytails freshly blow-dried" mean? Can it mean "Traditional hackers have a hair model like it and their hairs are dirty and chaos and using hairdryer for dry their hairs" ?
"The old-school hackers, their straggly ponytails freshly blow-dried, have been meeting with Bill Clinton and Janet Reno to help them nail you. These hackers claim they are motivated by love. They love technology-they just want it to work properly. But Mafiaboy, I believe you were committing an act of love too: not for the integrity of a particular line of code, but for the Internet in general, as it could have been."

Thank you.
 
  • raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    This way, for example:


    This is at least how I understand "straggly ponytali". But I am not a native speaker, so I hope someone can correct me if I have misunderstood.
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Yes. Balding with thinning hair in the back. That was the first image that came to mind. The dictionary definition seems incomplete. I suppose, for example, "a few stragglers" (people) would suggest a thinning crowd so somehow "straggling" is a related concept.
     

    Trochfa

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    For me, "straggly" here purely refers to the ponytails themselves and simply means that they were "untidy", due to the process of blow drying and that the hackers had either hurridly or purposefully put their hair into casual ponytails.

    The top of their heads is not described.

    Growing or spreading in an irregular, untidy way. <--- (In this instance I find the spreading in an untidy/irregular way is the relevant part)
    straggly | Definition of straggly in English by Oxford Dictionaries



    [I'm not saying anyone else is wrong, but this is how it made sense to me without having to add anything else.]
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    I have to admit I couldn't exactly describe the difference between "straggly" and "scraggly" when it comes to something like hair. The latter may be a better word for the image I had from the OP sentence.
     

    hack3rcon

    Senior Member
    Russian
    For me, "straggly" here purely refers to the ponytails themselves and simply means that they were "untidy", due to the process of blow drying and that the hackers had either hurridly or purposefully put their hair into casual ponytails.

    The top of their heads is not described.

    Growing or spreading in an irregular, untidy way. <--- (In this instance I find the spreading in an untidy/irregular way is the relevant part)
    straggly | Definition of straggly in English by Oxford Dictionaries



    [I'm not saying anyone else is wrong, but this is how it made sense to me without having to add anything else.]
    It can't mean "bald" ?
     

    Trochfa

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    For me, no, not specifically. Straggly means there still has to be some hair there, even if it is untidy or thinning. Bald means that there is no hair in the place mentioned. You can have someone with a straggly ponytail who is also bald on their crown, but that is not what the words "straggly ponytail" specifically tell you. They tell you that the ponytail itself, and only the ponytail, is untidy or comprised of thinning hair. You then may decide that if you think it is made of thinning hair that the person who has it may also be bald on their crown but it doesn't have to be so, hence my posting of the picture in post #9.

    I think the thing is just that if we do see a ponytail on an older man, then that man is also often bald on their crown.
     

    hack3rcon

    Senior Member
    Russian
    For me, no, not specifically. Straggly means there still has to be some hair there, even if it is untidy or thinning. Bald means that there is no hair in the place mentioned. You can have someone with a straggly ponytail who is also bald on their crown, but that is not what the words "straggly ponytail" specifically tell you. They tell you that the ponytail itself, and only the ponytail, is untidy or comprised of thinning hair. You then may decide that if you think it is made of thinning hair that the person who has it may also be bald on their crown but it doesn't have to be so, hence my posting of the picture in post #9.

    I think the thing is just that if we do see a ponytail on an older man, then that man is also often bald on their crown.
    Can you show me a photo about "Straggly" or can you rewrite "The old-school hackers, their straggly ponytails freshly blow-dried" ?
     

    Trochfa

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I think this is quite a good example. It seems "untidy" even if it has been arranged that way, but it is not "a mess".



    A rewrite might be:

    "The old-school hackers, with their untidy and freshly blow-dried ponytails "
     

    hack3rcon

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I think this is quite a good example. It seems "untidy" even if it has been arranged that way, but it is not "a mess".



    A rewrite might be:

    "The old-school hackers, with their untidy and freshly blow-dried ponytails "
    untidy==irregular ?
    "The old-school hackers, with their irregular and ponytail hair" ?
    I can't understand "blow-dried" !!!
     

    Trochfa

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Ponytail = A hairstyle in which the hair is drawn back and tied at the back of the head, causing it to hang down like a pony's tail. (It is only really the hanging down part "like a pony's tail" that is relevant.)

    Unitidy = not arranged neatly

    Blow-dry = Arrange (the washed hair) into a particular style while drying it with a handheld [hair] dryer.


    Therefore their hair has been washed and blow-dried with a hair dryer before they put their hair into casually arranged/untidy ponytails. Their ponytails were something like the picture in post#15. (i.e. Not arranged that neatly.)

    Compare that with this picture of a neat/tidy/perfectly arranged ponytail:



    What may be causing part of the confusion in the original is the fact that they haven't washed and blow-dried only their ponytails, but they've washed and blow-dried all their hair before putting it into ponytails.
     
    Last edited:

    hack3rcon

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Ponytail = A hairstyle in which the hair is drawn back and tied at the back of the head, causing it to hang down like a pony's tail. (It is only really the hanging down part "like a pony's tail" that is relevant.)

    Unitidy = not arranged neatly

    Blow-dry = Arrange (the washed hair) into a particular style while drying it with a handheld [hair] dryer.


    Therefore their hair has been washed and blow-dried with a hair dryer before they put their hair into casually arranged/untidy ponytails. Their ponytails were something like the picture in post#15. (i.e. Not arranged that neatly.)

    Compare that with this picture of a neat/tidy/perfectly arranged ponytail:



    What may be causing part of the confusion in the original is the fact that they haven't washed and blow-dried only their ponytails, but they've washed and blow-dried all their hair before putting it into ponytails.
    Thank you so much for your great help.
    Thus, Their hairs are ponytails and unitidy.
    I don't know why author said about "Blow-dry" !!!
     

    Trochfa

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    No problem, Hack3rcon. I think it was too add to the idea of their ponytails being a bit untidy. Blow-dried hair often looks a bit fluffy, or frizzy.
     

    hack3rcon

    Senior Member
    Russian
    No problem, Hack3rcon. I think it was too add to the idea of their ponytails being a bit untidy. Blow-dried hair often looks a bit fluffy, or frizzy.
    but as you showed me, Girl had a nice arranged ponytails but the man hair was not so arranged.
    The photo showed a man that his ponytails hair was nor so arranged but girl was.
     

    Trochfa

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    That's right, but what I'm saying is that, in general, when someone uses a hair dryer without doing anything else to their hair it can go a bit frizzy/fluffy which can add slightly to the untidy look.

    I reality we don't know what Sean Connery (post #14) or the woman (post #16) did to their hair. I was simply using the pictures to illustrate "scraggly/untidy" versus "smooth/neatly arranged" ponytails.
     
    Last edited:

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    For me, too, "straggly" means "untidily pulled back (into a ponytail)" with some of the hair not tied back and has nothing to do with (increasing) hair loss. The hair may well have been washed and blow-dried, but the person may have pulled it back and tied it hurriedly or carelessly so some strands escape.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    "their straggly ponytails freshly blow-dried"

    It is perhaps useful to try to distinguish between the ponytail that a girl might choose as her style for the day and the ponytail that a long-haired hacker might adopt in order to keep his hair out of his face.
    The blow-dried allows us to understand that the hair is clean.

    The girl's hair was carefully brushed before the creation of the ponytail and the ponytail itself has been carefully brushed. She wants her hair to look good in this style. Her hair has almost certainly been carefully cut.

    The hacker's hair was pulled together without a great deal of care and wrapped into a ponytail. Did he brush it first? I guess not. Did he brush it in the ponytail? I bet not. Has his hair been cut recently? Only if recently includes three years ago.

    End result? See images above.
    This analysis is based on observation of male and female ponytails in my family ... over the years :rolleyes: ... none of them mine :eek:
     

    hack3rcon

    Senior Member
    Russian
    "their straggly ponytails freshly blow-dried"

    It is perhaps useful to try to distinguish between the ponytail that a girl might choose as her style for the day and the ponytail that a long-haired hacker might adopt in order to keep his hair out of his face.
    The blow-dried allows us to understand that the hair is clean.

    The girl's hair was carefully brushed before the creation of the ponytail and the ponytail itself has been carefully brushed. She wants her hair to look good in this style. Her hair has almost certainly been carefully cut.

    The hacker's hair was pulled together without a great deal of care and wrapped into a ponytail. Did he brush it first? I guess not. Did he brush it in the ponytail? I bet not. Has his hair been cut recently? Only if recently includes three years ago.

    End result? See images above.
    This analysis is based on observation of male and female ponytails in my family ... over the years :rolleyes: ... none of them mine :eek:
    Thank you. I imagine it. They hairs are not arranged ;)
     
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