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Shaking Someone By the Hand

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:43 pm
by G.E.Plum
That sounds pretty painful to me -- if not impossible! :D
Yet I see it occasionally in older novels. "How do you do," he said, shaking her by the hand.

Why not just "shaking her hand"?

If I were ever to meet, say, Usain Bolt, I would like to shake his hand -- or shake hands with him -- but I don't think I would be able to shake him by the hand, and I certainly wouldn't want him to do that to me!

Re: Shaking Someone By the Hand

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:05 am
by DrG2
you could shake someone by their shoulders, but I'd probably delete the "by the" from your example.

Re: Shaking Someone By the Hand

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:16 am
by devildogwhite
I think this is an example of saying what you mean, and not meaning what you say. It's understood when you shake someone by the hand, you're not literally lifting them by their hands and shaking them. Sort of like when someone says they need to catch some z's, they're not going to run outside with a net in their hands. I do get your point, but I don't think anyone would misinterpret the meaning of shaking someone by the hand.