The Duke of Falvertoon was one of those human hors d'oeuvres that stimulate the public appetite for sensation without giving it much to feed on. As a mere child he had been precociously brilliant; he had declined the editorship of the Anglian Review at an age when most boys are content to have declined mensa, a table, and though he could not claim to have originated the Futurist movement in literature, his "Letters to a possible Grandson," written at the age of fourteen, had attracted considerable notice. In later days his brilliancy had been less conspicuously displayed.

from The Unkindest Blow, a short story by Saki

What is the role of "those"?

What is the differende between "one of those human hors d'oeuvres" and "one of human hors d'oeuvres"?

1 Answer 1


"One of those" adds significance to the phrase "human hors d'oevres" and changes its meaning from a unique metaphor for the Duke to indicating there is a subset of such people that everyone has some experience with or knowledge of.

It's a way of telling the reader "You know the kind of person I'm taking about."

The alternative, by the way, would be to say

The Duke was a human hors d'oeuvre.

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