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... hung on his every utterance Options
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 8:48:00 AM

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Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Hello!

This is from "Gone With The Wind" by Margaret Mitchell:

He came to call every night, for the atmosphere of Pitty’s house was pleasant and soothing. Mammy’s smile at the front door was the smile reserved for quality folks, Pitty served him coffee laced with brandy and fluttered about him and Scarlett hung on his every utterance.

Based on punctuation, I think Pitty fluttered about him and Scarlett ("he" is Frank Kennedy). Fluttered I guess means she fussed around them so that they feel at ease and comfortable.

I don't undertsand the underlined part hung on his every utterance. What does it mean? d'oh!
I'd be grateful if anybody could help. Thanks!



pjharvey
Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 9:12:59 AM
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No, Kirill, you are confusing the subjects.
Pitty is the subject of "served him coffee laced with brandy and fluttered about him", Scarlett is the subject of "hung on his every utterance" (paid heed to all that he said).
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 9:22:04 AM

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Joined: 10/4/2016
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Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Wow, thanks a lot!

Now I understand. So "hang on (somebody's words)" = "to pay heed to what the other one says".

Just to make sure I get it, would this be correct, for example? -
They (the pupils) love that teacher, they hang on his every word.

pjharvey
Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 9:35:37 AM
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Yes, exactly :)
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2018 4:48:50 AM

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Joined: 10/4/2016
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Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Thanks...

Does this idiom apply only to words?
Think

For example, how about this, is this a right usage? -

She absolutely loves her uncle, whenever he comes she hangs on him.

(my own writing)
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2018 6:03:16 AM
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Yes - they mean different things. "To hang on..." someones WORDS is a different idiom than to "hang on..." to a PERSON/THING.

Your sentence would tell us she wrapped herself around his arm and physically hung on him - which sounds rather creepy unless she is a small child!
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2018 6:26:52 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/4/2016
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Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Thanks, Romany!

Romany wrote:


Your sentence would tell us she wrapped herself around his arm and physically hung on him - which sounds rather creepy unless she is a small child!

I see, suppose she is.Angel


Can one hang on somebody's actions other than words?
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2018 6:57:34 AM
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Nope. Only on words.It brings to mind a child being told a story, gazing earnestly up at one, waiting for each new, exciting word in the story to find out what will happen.

Also used is "She hung on his every utterance" - usually used to show "she" is infatuated with "him".
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2018 7:00:51 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/4/2016
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Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Romany wrote:


Also used is "She hung on his every utterance" - usually used to show "she" is infatuated with "him".


Thanks! Yes, this is exactly the impression she wanted to make.
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2018 7:12:27 AM
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Good. As you can see, the difference is subtle - but you get it. Great going! (And yes, as the book goes on this "infatuation" plays a key part in the story!)
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