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stretched up and down along the walls

English translation: ranged all over the walls

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:stretched up and down along the walls
English translation:ranged all over the walls
Entered by: David Knowles
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07:46 Dec 19, 2005
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / children's literature
English term or phrase: stretched up and down along the walls
The indistinct arms looked terrible indeed: they stretched up and down along the walls, now touching the floor, now reaching up to the ceiling. At one moment they seemed longer, brooding over the boys, at another shorter, writhing at their feet like snakes.

Dear native English speakers!
Please advise on the phrase - does it sound OK, is the idea clear enough to you? Could 'ACROSS the walls' fit the context better, maybe? Should I omit 'up and down' then?
Thank you!
P.S. The 'indistinct arms' are in fact shadows on the walls.
Andrew Vdovin
Local time: 17:20
ranged up and down over the walls
Explanation:
Your wording is OK, but I don't feel it gets the idea of movement, so I'd prefer "ranged", and for shadows, I think that "over" is a better preposition.

The quote (another children's story) has: whose eye ranged up and down over his hunting-ground
Selected response from:

David Knowles
Local time: 11:20
Grading comment
Thank you very much for your help David! Thanks everybody!!!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +5That's OK
Jack Doughty
3 +2ranged up and down over the walls
David Knowles
4reached up and down the wallsAotearoa
4stretched over/across the walls
Yvette Neisser Moreno
4fluttered
Kay Patterson
3I would add a few words just for the flowpomiglia


  

Answers


19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
That's OK


Explanation:
You could say they stretched up, down and along the walls, but I prefer it the way you have it.

Jack Doughty
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:20
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 514

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Dave Calderhead
7 mins
  -> Thank you.

agree  webguru
27 mins
  -> Thank you.

agree  Nikos Mastrakoulis: I'll go for "stretched".
2 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  xxxAlfa Trans
2 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  Michael Barnett
9 hrs
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57 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
ranged up and down over the walls


Explanation:
Your wording is OK, but I don't feel it gets the idea of movement, so I'd prefer "ranged", and for shadows, I think that "over" is a better preposition.

The quote (another children's story) has: whose eye ranged up and down over his hunting-ground


    Reference: http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=long&book=broth...
David Knowles
Local time: 11:20
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 72
Grading comment
Thank you very much for your help David! Thanks everybody!!!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Tony M: regardless of which verb you choose, I definitiely think 'over' is more suitable than 'along' or 'across' the walls.
50 mins

agree  Nikos Mastrakoulis: I'll go for "over".
1 hr

neutral  Yvette Neisser Moreno: While I agree about "over", the word "ranged" doesn't sound right to me in this context. Perhaps it could be a difference in US vs. British usage.
5 hrs
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
stretched over/across the walls


Explanation:
I agree that "stretched up and down along the walls" does not produce a clear image, nor do the other options given so far. Though I can't think of an ideal way to capture what you're trying to express here, I think it certainly sounds better in English if you simply delete "up and down" and use one of the prepositions that I've suggested above. The concept/image of up and down is already expressed much more clearly in the phrases that follow. Hope this helps.

Yvette Neisser Moreno
United States
Local time: 06:20
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 20
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11 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
fluttered


Explanation:
i think fluttered gives a sense of quick and shadowy motion --and it also can characterize the movement on the floor and the ceiling.

Kay Patterson
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8
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3 days13 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
I would add a few words just for the flow


Explanation:
stretched up and down all along the walls,...brooding over the boys, at another moment, writhing about at their feet...

pomiglia
United States
Local time: 04:20
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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1 day18 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
reached up and down the walls


Explanation:
When I read this, I imagined the "arms" being long and skinny vertical shadows, going up and down the breadth of the walls, looming vertically and menacingly over the boys, or writhing at their feet. I don't think you need to use the word "along" to say that the shadows were going up and down the breadth of the walls because I believe "along" is clear in context. And I don't think you mean "up down and along" either. I think the "up and down" is the important bit. Since it sounds like a scary story, I imagine being one of the little boys and how scary it must be to have long writhing shadowy arms reaching for me from above and below. I think that "reaching" adds to the ghostly nature of the "arms". It becomes more menacing for me.

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Note added at 4 days (2005-12-23 13:46:00 GMT)
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Up-down. Floor-ceiling. Longer-shorter. All these words you have used suggest a vertical motion to me. Not side to side, which is horizontal, or "along" which is also a horizontal motion to me. When you say up and down the walls, "along" is implicit to me. I take that to mean up and down the length of the walls. But "up and down" is enough description. When we use the English idiom "you drive me up the wall" (you make me crazy/exasperated)we do not say "you drive me up down and along the wall". It is too much.
It leads me to wonder about the relevance of the concept of binary opposition (literary criticism) to this sort of question.

Aotearoa
New Zealand
Local time: 22:20
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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