They are conscientious to a somewhat grave fault about giving their audience

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AlexanderIII

Senior Member
Russian
Dear all,
this from the sketch 'Professional Youth' (1923) by Dorothy Parker.

They just work those little curly heads of theirs to the bone striving to get a shock into every sentence. It is rough going, this living up to all their press notices, but the girls never fall down on the job. They are conscientious to a somewhat grave fault about giving their audience its money’s worth in thrills;

I guess the sentence in the red means They feel it as a grave fault not to give their interlocutors thrills they worth of (the more money an interlocutor has the more thrills he gets).
Is this correct?
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "To be (adjective) to a fault" is a set expression.

    "Conscientious to a fault" - means extremely conscientious (maybe even tending to be too conscientious)
    She is generous to a fault - means she is so very generous that people may even take advantage of her generosity.

    "Conscientious to a somewhat grave fault" is emphatic, or perhaps means that they were too conscientious for their own good.
     
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