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|Ha ha. That story's funny.
Originally posted by househusband at 2006-12-2 10:44 PM
I remember I once read an article written by an overweight lady (a native speaker of Eng), in which she shows a tremendous self esteem for her being overweight. She even makes humor out of her physique by describing how she on one occasion took a seat in a chair. She says she "saturated" the chair " in all dimensions"( I'm probably paraphrasing). So it seems, when you saturate something, that thing must resemble a container. Is my understanding correct, Jeff?
I can't think of a word in English that means squeeze something into a container so that its shape resembles the container, except "to mold."
saturate - infuse or fill completely, to soak, impregnate, or imbue thoroughly or completely: to saturate a sponge with water; "The recollection was saturated with sunshine" (Vladimir Nabokov)..
It doesn't necessarily (and often does not) mean that the thing resembles the container. If you saturate a paper towel with water, all you have is a soggy mess! :)
The overweight lady's usage is intended to be humorous not only because it is self-deprecating but because it uses the word in a way to suggest that she could "saturate" the chair. (If she had said, "I molded myself into the chair" it would have had a similar meaning but "saturated" sounds even funnier.) If she had said she had "smothered" the chair (obviously a different meaning), the humor would be about the same.
"Saturate," as you said, househusband, is not quite the right word here. In reference to the light of a setting sun, its rays slanting on to an eastern wall, "saturate" seems a bit, well, too intense..
"saturated" is also used in reference to color (of the highest intensity of hue; free from admixture of white)—a "saturated" yellow is a brilliant, intense yellow, for example.
"suffuse" is often used to describe light and color, as in "The sky was suffused with a warm pink color." It suggests a kind of softness, although I am not sure that is in the definition.
celine's phrase works with a little modification: "dazzling with golden sunshine" or "dazzling with golden light" but it gives the impression of more intense light.
I might change my sentence to "Slanting sunshine spilled through the windows, suffusing the entire east wall in golden light" (sunlight → light) to avoid the repetition of "sunshine" and "sunlight."
That resource from the British Library is great, hly! Thanks for sharing that…