Discussion:
hit a light
(too old to reply)
tonbei
2017-12-28 16:04:08 UTC
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Then he added mixture A to B and told Wesley to hit the lights. A couple of quick sprays, and
a bluish white neon glow appeared on the coffee table. It began to fade almost as quickly as
it had appeared.
(Cruel and Unusual by P. Cornwell)

context: They're trying to make latent fingerprits come out in a room.
question about "hit a light".
My dictionary lists the phrase as meaning "put on a light", but the quoted sentence uses it as
meaning "put off a light."
My guess is it could mean either, depending on context. Am I right?
Jerry Friedman
2017-12-28 16:06:20 UTC
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Post by tonbei
Then he added mixture A to B and told Wesley to hit the lights. A couple of quick sprays, and
a bluish white neon glow appeared on the coffee table. It began to fade almost as quickly as
it had appeared.
(Cruel and Unusual by P. Cornwell)
context: They're trying to make latent fingerprits come out in a room.
question about "hit a light".
My dictionary lists the phrase as meaning "put on a light", but the quoted sentence uses it as
meaning "put off a light."
I say "turn" a light on or off.
Post by tonbei
My guess is it could mean either, depending on context. Am I right?
You're right. It means "throw the light switch".
--
Jerry Friedman
--
Jerry Friedman
Tony Cooper
2017-12-28 16:28:35 UTC
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Post by tonbei
Then he added mixture A to B and told Wesley to hit the lights. A couple of quick sprays, and
a bluish white neon glow appeared on the coffee table. It began to fade almost as quickly as
it had appeared.
(Cruel and Unusual by P. Cornwell)
context: They're trying to make latent fingerprits come out in a room.
question about "hit a light".
My dictionary lists the phrase as meaning "put on a light", but the quoted sentence uses it as
meaning "put off a light."
My guess is it could mean either, depending on context. Am I right?
The meaning is to turn off the lights in the room so the black light
will reveal the blood stains after the area is sprayed with luminol.

"Hit the lights" is perfectly ordinary informal speech. It's not an
accurate statement to mean "switch off the lights", but it's a common
way to say that. When the room lights are to be turned back on, the
same phrase would be used.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Paul Wolff
2017-12-28 16:57:26 UTC
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Post by Tony Cooper
Post by tonbei
Then he added mixture A to B and told Wesley to hit the lights. A
couple of quick sprays, and
a bluish white neon glow appeared on the coffee table. It began to
fade almost as quickly as
it had appeared.
(Cruel and Unusual by P. Cornwell)
context: They're trying to make latent fingerprits come out in a room.
question about "hit a light".
My dictionary lists the phrase as meaning "put on a light", but the
quoted sentence uses it as
meaning "put off a light."
My guess is it could mean either, depending on context. Am I right?
The meaning is to turn off the lights in the room so the black light
will reveal the blood stains after the area is sprayed with luminol.
"Hit the lights" is perfectly ordinary informal speech. It's not an
accurate statement to mean "switch off the lights", but it's a common
way to say that. When the room lights are to be turned back on, the
same phrase would be used.
The real mystery is how they got a bluish white colour from the limited
neon emission spectrum with its preponderance of red.
--
Paul
Garrett Wollman
2017-12-28 18:25:42 UTC
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Post by Paul Wolff
Post by tonbei
Then he added mixture A to B and told Wesley to hit the lights. A
couple of quick sprays, and
a bluish white neon glow appeared on the coffee table. It began to
fade almost as quickly as
it had appeared.
(Cruel and Unusual by P. Cornwell)
The real mystery is how they got a bluish white colour from the limited
neon emission spectrum with its preponderance of red.
"Neon" doesn't actually mean the element neon, it means "like a
gas-discharge lamp".

-GAWollman
--
Garrett A. Wollman | "Act to avoid constraining the future; if you can,
***@bimajority.org| act to remove constraint from the future. This is
Opinions not shared by| a thing you can do, are able to do, to do together."
my employers. | - Graydon Saunders, _A Succession of Bad Days_ (2015)
Paul Wolff
2017-12-28 18:48:49 UTC
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Post by Garrett Wollman
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by tonbei
Then he added mixture A to B and told Wesley to hit the lights. A
couple of quick sprays, and
a bluish white neon glow appeared on the coffee table. It began to
fade almost as quickly as
it had appeared.
(Cruel and Unusual by P. Cornwell)
The real mystery is how they got a bluish white colour from the limited
neon emission spectrum with its preponderance of red.
"Neon" doesn't actually mean the element neon, it means "like a
gas-discharge lamp".
Not when I say it. I know amateurs are apt to wander off the straight
and narrow (or is that strait and narrow?) but I'd expect an author who
purports to write about scientific investigations to take more care.
--
Paul
Peter T. Daniels
2017-12-28 20:49:45 UTC
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Post by Paul Wolff
Post by Garrett Wollman
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by tonbei
Then he added mixture A to B and told Wesley to hit the lights. A
couple of quick sprays, and
a bluish white neon glow appeared on the coffee table. It began to
fade almost as quickly as
it had appeared.
(Cruel and Unusual by P. Cornwell)
The real mystery is how they got a bluish white colour from the limited
neon emission spectrum with its preponderance of red.
"Neon" doesn't actually mean the element neon, it means "like a
gas-discharge lamp".
Not when I say it. I know amateurs are apt to wander off the straight
and narrow (or is that strait and narrow?) but I'd expect an author who
purports to write about scientific investigations to take more care.
tonbei is unfortunately still reading P. Cornwell -- does that purportion still
hold?

Anyway, "neon" is used as a descriptor for very bright colors (e.g. of markers)
that need have no connection with the element neon at all, Day-Glo, or however
they spell it, presumably being a protected trademark.
Paul Wolff
2017-12-28 23:15:52 UTC
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Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by Garrett Wollman
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by tonbei
Then he added mixture A to B and told Wesley to hit the lights. A
couple of quick sprays, and
a bluish white neon glow appeared on the coffee table. It began to
fade almost as quickly as
it had appeared.
(Cruel and Unusual by P. Cornwell)
The real mystery is how they got a bluish white colour from the limited
neon emission spectrum with its preponderance of red.
"Neon" doesn't actually mean the element neon, it means "like a
gas-discharge lamp".
Not when I say it. I know amateurs are apt to wander off the straight
and narrow (or is that strait and narrow?) but I'd expect an author who
purports to write about scientific investigations to take more care.
tonbei is unfortunately still reading P. Cornwell -- does that
purportion still
hold?
Anyway, "neon" is used as a descriptor for very bright colors (e.g. of markers)
that need have no connection with the element neon at all, Day-Glo, or however
they spell it, presumably being a protected trademark.
Being serious for a moment, I don't recognise "neon" as meaning
"fluorescent" in BrE. (So nineteen-fifties, if at all.) I saw an
installation recently at Compton Verney with gas discharge tubes which
purported (yes, I do like that verb, often usefully deployed by lawyers)
to be Art, and I wasn't convinced. But maybe I should get out more.

Despite what you may have read, the Daily Mail isn't all bad. The neon
is here:
<http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/event/article-4760754/The-Art-Perception
-Compton-Verney-review.html>
--
Paul
Peter T. Daniels
2017-12-29 03:54:51 UTC
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Post by Paul Wolff
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by Garrett Wollman
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by tonbei
Then he added mixture A to B and told Wesley to hit the lights. A
couple of quick sprays, and
a bluish white neon glow appeared on the coffee table. It began to
fade almost as quickly as
it had appeared.
(Cruel and Unusual by P. Cornwell)
The real mystery is how they got a bluish white colour from the limited
neon emission spectrum with its preponderance of red.
"Neon" doesn't actually mean the element neon, it means "like a
gas-discharge lamp".
Not when I say it. I know amateurs are apt to wander off the straight
and narrow (or is that strait and narrow?) but I'd expect an author who
purports to write about scientific investigations to take more care.
tonbei is unfortunately still reading P. Cornwell -- does that purportion still
hold?
Anyway, "neon" is used as a descriptor for very bright colors (e.g. of markers)
that need have no connection with the element neon at all, Day-Glo, or however
they spell it, presumably being a protected trademark.
Being serious for a moment, I don't recognise "neon" as meaning
"fluorescent" in BrE. (So nineteen-fifties, if at all.) I saw an
It appears in crossword puzzles in that sense, so it must be real.
Post by Paul Wolff
installation recently at Compton Verney with gas discharge tubes which
purported (yes, I do like that verb, often usefully deployed by lawyers)
to be Art, and I wasn't convinced. But maybe I should get out more.
But did you like the noun purportion?
Post by Paul Wolff
Despite what you may have read, the Daily Mail isn't all bad. The neon
<http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/event/article-4760754/The-Art-Perception
-Compton-Verney-review.html>
Whiskers
2017-12-29 15:29:52 UTC
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Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by Garrett Wollman
Post by Paul Wolff
On Thu, 28 Dec 2017 08:04:08 -0800 (PST), tonbei
Post by tonbei
Then he added mixture A to B and told Wesley to hit the
lights. A couple of quick sprays, and a bluish white neon glow
appeared on the coffee table. It began to fade almost as
quickly as it had appeared. (Cruel and Unusual by P.
Cornwell)
The real mystery is how they got a bluish white colour from the
limited neon emission spectrum with its preponderance of red.
"Neon" doesn't actually mean the element neon, it means "like a
gas-discharge lamp".
Not when I say it. I know amateurs are apt to wander off the
straight and narrow (or is that strait and narrow?) but I'd expect
an author who purports to write about scientific investigations to
take more care.
Perhaps the author is using terms the characters might use, thereby
demonstrating their lack of understanding of what they're trying to do.
Perhaps they don't know about phosphorescence or bioluminescence or
whatever it is they're playing with. Whatever it is, it isn't
near-vacuum plasma or electrical discharge.
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by Peter T. Daniels
tonbei is unfortunately still reading P. Cornwell -- does that
purportion still hold?
Anyway, "neon" is used as a descriptor for very bright colors (e.g.
of markers) that need have no connection with the element neon at
all, Day-Glo, or however they spell it, presumably being a protected
trademark.
Being serious for a moment, I don't recognise "neon" as meaning
"fluorescent" in BrE. (So nineteen-fifties, if at all.) I saw an
It appears in crossword puzzles in that sense, so it must be real.
I can attest to the use of 'neon' to describe the multi-coloured
electric light advertisements at Piccadilly Circus in London. Whether
this usage persists now in the LED era I don't know.
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Paul Wolff
installation recently at Compton Verney with gas discharge tubes which
purported (yes, I do like that verb, often usefully deployed by lawyers)
to be Art, and I wasn't convinced. But maybe I should get out more.
But did you like the noun purportion?
Post by Paul Wolff
Despite what you may have read, the Daily Mail isn't all bad. The neon
<http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/event/article-4760754/The-Art-Perception
-Compton-Verney-review.html>
That is quite a good article.

I had a shirt printed in a Bridget Riley pattern. My colleagues asked
me not to wear it again!
--
-- ^^^^^^^^^^
-- Whiskers
-- ~~~~~~~~~~
s***@gmail.com
2017-12-29 23:31:37 UTC
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Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by Garrett Wollman
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by tonbei
Then he added mixture A to B and told Wesley to hit the lights. A
couple of quick sprays, and
a bluish white neon glow appeared on the coffee table. It began to
fade almost as quickly as
it had appeared.
(Cruel and Unusual by P. Cornwell)
The real mystery is how they got a bluish white colour from the limited
neon emission spectrum with its preponderance of red.
"Neon" doesn't actually mean the element neon, it means "like a
gas-discharge lamp".
Not when I say it. I know amateurs are apt to wander off the straight
and narrow (or is that strait and narrow?) but I'd expect an author who
purports to write about scientific investigations to take more care.
tonbei is unfortunately still reading P. Cornwell -- does that purportion still
hold?
And now Sue Grafton is gone.
<URL:https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/29/obituaries/sue-grafton-dies-best-selling-mystery-author.html>
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Anyway, "neon" is used as a descriptor for very bright colors (e.g. of markers)
that need have no connection with the element neon at all, Day-Glo, or however
they spell it, presumably being a protected trademark.
It sounds a little more mainstream than "psychedilic",
but the currency has overlapped, and often applied to the same things.

There was a fad for a while, when safety colors were being experimented with,
for "neon green" firetrucks, which was sort of an eye-popping version
of lime green. [The fad ended, the trucks turned red again]

/dps
Lewis
2017-12-29 21:03:43 UTC
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Post by Paul Wolff
Post by Garrett Wollman
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by tonbei
Then he added mixture A to B and told Wesley to hit the lights. A
couple of quick sprays, and
a bluish white neon glow appeared on the coffee table. It began to
fade almost as quickly as
it had appeared.
(Cruel and Unusual by P. Cornwell)
The real mystery is how they got a bluish white colour from the limited
neon emission spectrum with its preponderance of red.
"Neon" doesn't actually mean the element neon, it means "like a
gas-discharge lamp".
Not when I say it. I know amateurs are apt to wander off the straight
and narrow (or is that strait and narrow?) but I'd expect an author who
purports to write about scientific investigations to take more care.
A neon light is not restricted to one containing neon gas. If you think
it is, then you're mistaken.
--
Nothing is impossible for those who don't have to do it.
Paul Wolff
2017-12-29 23:37:13 UTC
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Post by Lewis
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by Garrett Wollman
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by tonbei
Then he added mixture A to B and told Wesley to hit the lights. A
couple of quick sprays, and
a bluish white neon glow appeared on the coffee table. It began to
fade almost as quickly as
it had appeared.
(Cruel and Unusual by P. Cornwell)
The real mystery is how they got a bluish white colour from the limited
neon emission spectrum with its preponderance of red.
"Neon" doesn't actually mean the element neon, it means "like a
gas-discharge lamp".
Not when I say it. I know amateurs are apt to wander off the straight
and narrow (or is that strait and narrow?) but I'd expect an author who
purports to write about scientific investigations to take more care.
A neon light is not restricted to one containing neon gas. If you think
it is, then you're mistaken.
A neon light is one with the essential qualities of neon light, which
include the qualities of being (1) emitted by neon gas, and (2) red to
the human eye.

I can accept some substitutes, but not a bluish white colour. Only
Philistines make bluish-white neon lamps.
--
Paul
Tony Cooper
2017-12-30 03:25:23 UTC
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On Fri, 29 Dec 2017 23:37:13 +0000, Paul Wolff
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by Lewis
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by Garrett Wollman
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by tonbei
Then he added mixture A to B and told Wesley to hit the lights. A
couple of quick sprays, and
a bluish white neon glow appeared on the coffee table. It began to
fade almost as quickly as
it had appeared.
(Cruel and Unusual by P. Cornwell)
The real mystery is how they got a bluish white colour from the limited
neon emission spectrum with its preponderance of red.
"Neon" doesn't actually mean the element neon, it means "like a
gas-discharge lamp".
Not when I say it. I know amateurs are apt to wander off the straight
and narrow (or is that strait and narrow?) but I'd expect an author who
purports to write about scientific investigations to take more care.
A neon light is not restricted to one containing neon gas. If you think
it is, then you're mistaken.
A neon light is one with the essential qualities of neon light, which
include the qualities of being (1) emitted by neon gas, and (2) red to
the human eye.
I can accept some substitutes, but not a bluish white colour. Only
Philistines make bluish-white neon lamps.
I'm going to side with Cornwell on this. The quoted material is about
using a black light on an area sprayed with luminol. When this is
done, the blood shows up as bluish white. This is a photograph of a
bloody fingerprint under those conditions

Loading Image...

Now to the use of "neon". "Neon" colors, in conversational use in the
US, mean unnaturally bright and exaggerated colors. See the image.

What Cornwell has written is not at all wrong for a police procedural
crime novel, and that's what's she's written. Cornwell is writing
about standard police crime scene investigation procedures using
non-scientific - albeit trained in the procedures - field people.
I don't see that it's at all objectionable to have them speak as they
do.

I'll also take Cornwell's side on being a good read for "tonbei".
Cornwell's books are a simple, but not overly simple, read that
include a lot of standard dialog and standard vocabulary. That's
what, as I understand it, "tonbei" is looking for in order to improve
his grasp of English. He doesn't need Man Booker Prize material.

I read several of Cornwell's early books, but no longer check the new
ones out at the library. My loss of interest in her is because she's
become so popular that she's grinding out new books that often seem
like a re-do of an older book. Too frequently I can see where she's
going because I've read a previous Cornwell book, and that's a no-no
in crime solving book. Also, the later books far to often bring in
references to older books.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2017-12-30 17:55:10 UTC
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[ ... ]
I'll also take Cornwell's side on being a good read for "tonbei".
Cornwell's books are a simple, but not overly simple, read that
include a lot of standard dialog and standard vocabulary. That's
what, as I understand it, "tonbei" is looking for in order to improve
his grasp of English. He doesn't need Man Booker Prize material.
Yes, but Cornwell seems to be the _only_ writer that tonbei reads.
--
athel
Horace LaBadie
2017-12-28 16:36:14 UTC
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Post by tonbei
Then he added mixture A to B and told Wesley to hit the lights. A couple of
quick sprays, and
a bluish white neon glow appeared on the coffee table. It began to fade
almost as quickly as
it had appeared.
(Cruel and Unusual by P. Cornwell)
context: They're trying to make latent fingerprits come out in a room.
question about "hit a light".
My dictionary lists the phrase as meaning "put on a light", but the quoted
sentence uses it as
meaning "put off a light."
My guess is it could mean either, depending on context. Am I right?
Basically, yes, although one might expect "kill the light" or something
similar if already on.
RH Draney
2017-12-28 17:09:20 UTC
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Post by Horace LaBadie
Post by tonbei
My dictionary lists the phrase as meaning "put on a light", but the quoted
sentence uses it as
meaning "put off a light."
My guess is it could mean either, depending on context. Am I right?
Basically, yes, although one might expect "kill the light" or something
similar if already on.
They used that in "Get Smart" the first time the robot character Hymie
was used...Max (not knowing his new partner was a robot planted by KAOS)
takes him into a closet to exchange clues, then tells him to follow him
out after a pause so they don't look suspicious, adding "don't forget to
kill the light"....

After Max has left the closet, Hymie (already established as one who
takes all phrases literally) draws his revolver and shoots out the bulb....r
Paul Carmichael
2017-12-29 16:42:57 UTC
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Post by Horace LaBadie
Post by tonbei
Then he added mixture A to B and told Wesley to hit the lights. A couple of
quick sprays, and
a bluish white neon glow appeared on the coffee table. It began to fade
almost as quickly as
it had appeared.
(Cruel and Unusual by P. Cornwell)
context: They're trying to make latent fingerprits come out in a room.
question about "hit a light".
My dictionary lists the phrase as meaning "put on a light", but the quoted
sentence uses it as
meaning "put off a light."
My guess is it could mean either, depending on context. Am I right?
Basically, yes, although one might expect "kill the light" or something
similar if already on.
Or generically, "toggle the light".
--
Paul.

https://paulc.es/
https://asetrad.org
Joy Beeson
2017-12-29 02:17:31 UTC
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I actually do "hit" the light switches when I turn on the lights in
the kitchen/dining room. They are controlled by two switches
side-by-side, so I sweep my hand down the wall to flip both at once.
--
Joy Beeson, U.S.A., mostly central Hoosier,
some Northern Indiana, Upstate New York, Florida, and Hawaii
joy beeson at comcast dot net http://wlweather.net/PAGEJOY/
The above message is a Usenet post.
I don't recall having given anyone permission to use it on a Web site.
Whiskers
2017-12-29 15:32:07 UTC
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Post by Joy Beeson
I actually do "hit" the light switches when I turn on the lights in
the kitchen/dining room. They are controlled by two switches
side-by-side, so I sweep my hand down the wall to flip both at once.
There are even switches that respond to being thumped or pushed
'inwards' rather than having a hinged action.
--
-- ^^^^^^^^^^
-- Whiskers
-- ~~~~~~~~~~
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