English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

“ ‘Our disproportionate interest, even grief, bears examination. Right up until the moment that Landry took her fatal dive, it is a fair bet that tens of thousands of women would have changed places with her. Sobbing young girls laid flowers beneath the balcony of Landry’s £4.5 million penthouse flat after her crushed body was cleared away. Has even one aspiring model been deterred in her pursuit of tabloid fame by the rise and brutal fall of Lula Landry?’ ”

“Get on with it,” said Strike. “Her, not you,” he added hastily. “It’s a woman writing, right?”

“Yes, a Melanie Telford,” said Robin, scrolling back to the top of the screen to reveal the head shot of a jowly middle-aged blonde. “Do you want me to skip the rest?”

“No, no, keep going.”

Robin cleared her throat once more and continued.

“ ‘The answer, surely, is no.’ That’s the bit about aspiring models being deterred.”

“Yeah, got that.”

“Right, well…‘A hundred years after Emmeline Pankhurst, a generation of pubescent females seeks nothing better than to be reduced to the status of a cut-out paper doll, a flat avatar whose fictionalized adventures mask such disturbance and distress that she threw herself from a third-story window. Appearance is all: the designer Guy Somé was quick to inform the press that she jumped wearing one of his dresses, which sold out in the twenty-four hours after her death. What better advert could there be than that Lula Landry chose to meet her maker in Somé?
(The Cuckoo's Calling, by Robert Galbraith)

There're a couple of me not knowing things in a boldface sentence:
- What's the meaning of 'bit': Is it 'a small piece of something'? Does it make sense?

Mr. Strike answered like the boldface sentence for responding to Miss.Robin's this question: "Has even one aspiring model been deterred in her pursuit of tabloid fame by the rise and brutal fall of Lula Landry?" Does it makes sense? He said 'no,' and then 'aspiring models being deterred.' Isn't this supposed to be 'aspiring models wouldn't be deterred (by the fatal death of a big star)? What don't I know at this moment?

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The conversation gets interrupted by Strike's remark and Robin's question about skipping the rest.

Mr. Strike answers to that ("no, no, keep going"), then Robin goes back to the original conversation about models being deterred.

Because of the interruption, she wants to make clear what she refers to when she says "the answer, surely, is no".

Without the interruption, Robin would have said:

Has even one aspiring model been deterred in her pursuit of tabloid fame by the rise and brutal fall of Lula Landry? The answer, surely, is no.

"The bit about aspiring models being deterred" is simply referring to the bit (the small part of what she was saying) about that subject: "Has even one aspiring model been deterred [...]?"

share|improve this answer
Mr. Strike's “Yeah, got that.” can be said by your excellent explanation. Thank you! – Listenever Aug 19 '14 at 13:02

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.