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In a teaser trailer for the Miami Vice movie, a character says, "Do you know
the meaning of the word foreboding, as in badness is happening right now?”
I've taken this to mean that he is rhetorically asking the person if they know the
meaning of foreboding, as a way of mentioning the badness he sees happening.
He is saying that he thinking certain doom is afoot based on what is
happening at the moment. Others have taken it as him incorrectly attempting
to define the word foreboding as 'badness happening'. I'm just wondering
if you English folks can help us movie geeks out by analyzing the phrase for us.
Why does or doesn't it work, and what you make of its intent. Doesn't the use
of "as in" imply that he is giving an example, or stating "because" --- So it
would be like him saying, "Do you know the meaning of the word foreboding,
because badness is happening right now." -- Again, with the question being rhetorical.

Vice trailer:

http://progressive.stream.aol.com/aol/us/moviefone/movies/2005/miamivice_021727/
miamivice_trlr_01_kjhew_dl.mov


Ps - Sorry for any flubs I made in my own writing. Please be gentle.
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Hello Bubba

1. "Do you know the meaning of the word foreboding, as in badness
is happening right now?"

"Foreboding" is a feeling of apprehension about "something bad". Either the
"something bad" hasn't yet happened; or it is happening or has happened, but
we don't yet know the full story.

For instance, on the way home from work, I might have a foreboding that
the house had burnt down in my absence; or even that it was at that very
moment in flames. The foreboding would relate to the "finding out about the
event for certain", which would still lie in the future, rather than the timing
of the event itself.

I'd take that as the meaning here; though I haven't seen the film, so may
be wholly wrong!

MrP
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It can be difficult to know the deeper meaning of lines in a trailer,
as so little context within the movie is provided. Nevertheless, I'll do
my best to offer an accurate interpretation of what was said.

I think that both interpretations you've offered as examples are correct to
some extent. The question of whether or not the listener knows the meaning
of "foreboding" does seem rhetorical. Yet while the phrase "as in badness
happening right now" is not a definition of the word, it does appear that he
wants to further explain what he means by "foreboding". That is what the
use of "as in" implies, a hypothetical and not necessarily real example. Thus,
"Do you know the meaning of the word foreboding, because badness is
happening right now," has a different meaning that what was originally said.
Notice that the second clause of the sentence also functions as its own
question. A closer rewording would be something like: "Do you know
the meaning of the word 'foreboding', like badness is happening right now?"
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Comments  
I apologize for reformatting the posts in this thread -- I had to scroll the
horizontal bar back and forth to read each line, and I suspect it is frustrating
not just to me but to other posters as well, so I just reformatted the message.
I didn't change a single word.

Sorry. Emotion: smile
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Fine by me!

I was having to go round the back of my pc to read the thread.

MrP
Thanks everyone! Both replies went along with how I was interpreting it.

I'm sorry about the formatting difficulties. Was it because of the URL?