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Suppose we get down to the truth Options
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Monday, September 24, 2018 7:25:03 AM

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Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Hello!

This is part of a dialogue between Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler from "Gone With The Wind" by Margaret Mitchell -

Rhett: " <...> Why did you lie to me about everything being nice at Tara?”

Scarlett: “Now, Rhett —”

Rhett: Suppose we get down to the truth. What is the real purpose of your visit? Almost, I was persuaded by your coquettish airs that you cared something about me and were sorry for me.”


What is the exact meaning of the embolded part? Is it equivalent to "Let's get down to the truth" ?

Many thanks!
sureshot
Posted: Monday, September 24, 2018 8:20:23 AM
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Kirill Vorobyov wrote:
Hello!

This is part of a dialogue between Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler from "Gone With The Wind" by Margaret Mitchell -

Rhett: " <...> Why did you lie to me about everything being nice at Tara?”

Scarlett: “Now, Rhett —”

Rhett: Suppose we get down to the truth. What is the real purpose of your visit? Almost, I was persuaded by your coquettish airs that you cared something about me and were sorry for me.”


What is the exact meaning of the embolded part? Is it equivalent to "Let's get down to the truth" ?

Many thanks!

________________

In this sentence, "suppose" is a verb. "Suppose" can be used to make or introduce a suggestion. In the given sentence too, "suppose" has been used to introduce a suggestion. The speaker wants the listener to give serious attention to his desire to know the truth about the real purpose of the visit without any circumlocutory talk.

Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Monday, September 24, 2018 8:32:59 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/4/2016
Posts: 553
Neurons: 2,865
Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Thank you very much, Sureshot!

Is this usage archaic, or quite normal nowdays?


Romany
Posted: Monday, September 24, 2018 9:12:33 AM
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It's a common usage both in BE and AE.
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Monday, September 24, 2018 9:52:48 AM

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

Isn't there a nuance of meaning, though?

For example: (1) a straightforward proposal "Let's talk". (2) If I say instead "Suppose we talk" Think Isn't there a shade of meaning that makes (2) somewhat different from (1)?
palapaguy
Posted: Monday, September 24, 2018 5:18:26 PM

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No difference, generally. In certain contexts there be be a small difference.
RuthP
Posted: Monday, September 24, 2018 9:24:38 PM

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Kirill Vorobyov wrote:
Thanks, Romany.

Isn't there a nuance of meaning, though?

For example: (1) a straightforward proposal "Let's talk". (2) If I say instead "Suppose we talk" Think Isn't there a shade of meaning that makes (2) somewhat different from (1)?

The use of "Suppose we talk" (truthfully) is just meant to emphasize the speaker (Rhett) is aware of the fact that Scarlett has not yet been honest with him about why she came. He suspects she wants something from him, and did not just happen to drop by on a friendly visit.

Using "Let's talk" does not put the same subtle emphasis on "I've figured out what you are really doing".
leonAzul
Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 2:56:07 AM

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I agree with RuthP.

You can think of it this way: if Scarlett had been speaking truthfully all along, then Brett wouldn't have commanded her to suppose that hypothetically.


"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 5:21:23 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/4/2016
Posts: 553
Neurons: 2,865
Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Wow! Thank you very much, RuthP and LeonAzul!

A "shade of doubt"... And/or hinting things have not been (quite) in line with what one proposes... I think this is the nuance I was trying to figure out.

Thanks everybody!

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