What does “though less so ~” mean?

I’m reading a book about world history, and there is a phrase in a paragraph I have no idea: “They were mostly connected to productive hinterlands, though less so in the case of Perth than the others.” This paragraph is talking about colonial capitals in Australia. I couldn’t find any good explanation for the phrase … Read more

Subjective use of ‘was’ where ‘were’ would be expected (and indeed is immediately used) by Hemingway

I’ve just encountered a seemingly strange paragraph in Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, and I wonder if anyone can give me an explanation: If the boy was here he would wet the coils, he thought. Yes. If the boy were here. If the boy were here. I understand the usage of were in … Read more

For the life of me I can’t understand this sentence from Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonflight

To forestall the incursions of the dreadful Threads, the Pernese, with the ingenuity of their forgotten Terran forebears, developed a highly specialized variety of a life-form indigenous to their adopted planet. Such humans as had a high empathy rating and some innate telepathic ability were trained to use and preserve this unusual animal whose ability … Read more

What is the meaning of “Like a Lobster” in the following chapter of “The invisible man”

http://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/120/the-invisible-man/2071/chapter-2/ “Good-afternoon,” said the stranger, regarding him, as Mr. Henfrey says, with a vivid sense of the dark spectacles, “like a lobster.” Answer It’s in two parts. “Good afternoon,” said the stranger and: regarding him, as Mr. Henfrey says, with a vivid sense of the dark spectacles, “like a lobster.” Lobsters have eyes that stick … Read more

What does this word mean in this passage from Frank Herbert’s Dune?

I am only familiar with "faggot" being used as a slur for a gay man or as a bundle of sticks. Some statements in the preceding paragraphs that provide context: …A predawn hush had come over the desert basin. Straight overhead, the stars were a sequin shawl flung over blue-black… …As the Duke watched, the … Read more

Grammatical interpretation of Don DeLillo sentence

I’m puzzled by these three sentences from Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo: Heavy trucks went downtown bouncing, headed to the garment district or the meatpacking docks, and nobody saw them. They saw the cockney selling children’s books from a cardboard box, making his pitch from his knees. Eric thought they were the same thing, these two, … Read more