[lit-ideas] Single-handedly

  • From: Lawrence Helm <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Lit-Ideas <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 06 Jun 2015 14:00:13 -0700

Early this morning I had a Speranza moment & still don't know what to do with it. Maybe he can help. I've been reading /The Invaders, How Humans and their dogs drove Neanderthals to Extinction, /by Pat Shipman. Quite a lot is known about Wolves from their reintroduction into Yellowstone. On page 98 Shipman writes, "Wolf /06 /was an able leader of her pack, strong and clever, and she is one of the few wolves ever seen to single-handedly bring down an adult elk."

I got way off track thinking about this. Wolves don't have hands. Wolves can't even be hands (as in "all hands on deck"), or can they? A man can be single handed if one of his is cut off. If he is a sailor he can engage in a single-handed race across the Atlantic.

Certainly one knows what Shipman means, but she is at the very least inelegant in her phraseology. Or has "single-handedly" grown to apply to beings without hands while I slept and grew old?

Lawrence


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