with <_> grinding of our teeth

Makel Leki

Senior Member
Russian
From Dracula:
Then without letting go her husband’s hand she stood up amongst us and spoke. Oh, that I could give any idea of the scene; of that sweet, sweet, good, good woman in all the radiant beauty of her youth and animation, with the red scar on her forehead, of which she was conscious, and which we saw with grinding of our teeth...
Would "the grinding" instead of "grinding" be correct in this case? Is there a difference between the two?
 
  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I would write "with the grinding..." myself, but perhaps I would not if I lived in the 1890s when the book was written.

    As a side note "the grinding" is descriptive of the medical condition of "bruxism".
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    A slightly longer version of the quotation is helpful. Today we'd probably say "with clenched teeth."

    Then without letting go her husband's hand she stood up amongst us and spoke. Oh, that I could give any idea of the scene. Of that sweet, sweet, good, good woman in all the radiant beauty of her youth and animation, with the red scar on her forehead, of which she was conscious, and which we saw with grinding of our teeth, remembering whence and how it came.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    If you add the article, it suggests that the grinding of their teeth was enabling them to see.

    ...with the red scar on her forehead, of which she was conscious, and which we saw with the grinding of our teeth, remembering whence and how it came.
     

    Fredziu

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Would it be possible to say "with a grinding of our teeth" as in "He drove off with a crashing of gears and a screeching of tyres"?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Yes, it would.

    It still sounds a little odd for them to be "seeing with a grinding of teeth", compared to actively driving off "with a crashing of gears and a screeching of tyres". That sounds completely natural.
     
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