to turn off by the gross

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akhakbaz

Member
Persian
Hi
What do you think this sentence, specially the highlighted part mean?

Under these average boyish physiognomies that she seems to turn off by the gross, she conceals some of her most rigid, inflexible purposes, some of her most unmodifiable characters.

(Mill on the Floss,(A Norton Critical edition) page 29 para 4)
 
  • Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    Under these average boyish physiognomies that she (Nature) seems to turn off (turn out or produce) by the gross (literally twelve dozen, but used to mean "in large numbers"), she conceals...

    I don't think "turn off" is used this way nowadays. I believe "gross" in its meaning of twelve dozen is outdated too, though I'm not really sure.

    Edit: Please provide context with passages you quote. I realised that "she" referred to nature only after I googled those words. Till then I thought it was a woman and that "turn off" had its more common meaning of "repulse". Also, Google worked because the book is in the public domain; modern books won't be.
     
    Last edited:

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Under these average boyish physiognomies that she (Nature) seems to turn off (turn out or produce) by the gross (literally twelve dozen, but used to mean "in large numbers"), she conceals...

    I don't think "turn off" is used this way nowadays. I believe "gross" in its meaning of twelve dozen is outdated too, though I'm not really sure.

    Edit: Please provide context with passages you quote. I realised that "she" referred to nature only after I googled those words. Till then I thought it was a woman and that "turn off" had its more common meaning of "repulse". Also, Google worked because the book is in the public domain; modern books won't be.
    "Dozens" and "Gross" are terms still used in the grocery business and garment business and perhaps in others. Internet selling has changed some of that as
    vendors trying to keep things simple list the pricing in pieces. One such chart (for tee-shirts) listed: 12 pieces; 36 pieces; 72 pieces, 144 pieces and 288 pieces.

    It is clear to me that before the Internet when all the vendors spoke in dozens, that these numbers were not used; only "dozens" and "gross" were used.

    In the strictly professional world these terms are still in use.
     
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