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  1. #1
    Olympian is offline Member
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    Question Please explain the meaning

    Hello,

    The following paragraph is from an article in The New Yorker, called No Secrets, on Julian Assange of WikiLeaks.


    Assange, facing a potential sentence of ten years in prison, found the state’s reaction confounding. He bought Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s “The First Circle,” a novel about scientists and technicians forced into the Gulag, and read it three times. (“How close the parallels to my own adventures!” he later wrote.) He was convinced that “look/see” hacking was a victimless crime, and intended to fight the charges. But the other members of the group decided to coöperate. “When a judge says, ‘The prisoner shall now rise,’ and no one else in the room stands—that is a test of character,” he told me. Ultimately, he pleaded guilty to twenty-five charges and six were dropped. But at his final sentencing the judge said, “There is just no evidence that there was anything other than sort of intelligent inquisitiveness and the pleasure of being able to—what’s the expression—surf through these various computers.” Assange’s only penalty was to pay the Australian state a small sum in damages.
    What is the meaning of "and no one else in the room stands- that is a test of character"? Does it mean that he was the only one who stood up because the other members decided to cooperate? Does this indicate anything about whether he knew that the others had decided to cooperate, or was it a surprise to him when the others did not rise? I am assuming that they were all being tried in the same court at the same time. Why didn't the judge say "prisoners" if all of them were being tried?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Please explain the meaning

    I think it's because he alone of the group didn't cooperate. I am honestly not sure of the legal procedures in courts in Australia, but I imagine that he would have known this before the case came to trial s that he could prepare a defence, but he would still have been the only one charged and his former friends/associates were not standing even though they had been involved.

  3. #3
    Olympian is offline Member
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    Default Re: Please explain the meaning

    Thank you Tdol.

  4. #4
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Please explain the meaning

    Could this possibly have been a "I am Spartucus" moment?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Please explain the meaning

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Could this possibly have been a "I am Spartucus" moment?
    If it had been, wouldn't all of them have stood?

  6. #6
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Please explain the meaning

    I meant that type of reference?

    An inverse-Spartacus. Is that what the author had in mind?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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