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  1. #1
    unpakwon is offline Senior Member
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    ensure complicity

    I have trouble understanding the following in red. What does it mean in the context?

    Motorists can buy a pass to use all the national highways simply by sending a text meassage on their cell phone to a designated number, indicating their car's license plate number and the desired duration of use (from a few days to a year). The charge is added automatically to the driver's monthly phone bill. They can do this at any time and anywhere, prior to using the highways. In effect, the payment process is completely removed from the driving experience itself. To ensure complicity, mobile control stations are set up to scan license plates on the highways and match them against a central database of authorized vehicles.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    JohnParis is offline Senior Member
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    Re: ensure complicity

    In this case, "To ensure complicity" means "to ensure that the motorist pays the toll for use of the highway." In other words, confirm that the motorist has paid electronically and is authorized to drive on the road.

  3. #3
    unpakwon is offline Senior Member
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    Re: ensure complicity

    I get it.

    Thank you.

    But I still don't understand why the author used the words "ensure" and "complicity," which means "involvement with other people in an illegal activity or plan." It's a strange combination of the words to me.

  4. #4
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    JohnParis is offline Senior Member
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    Re: ensure complicity

    Ensure makes sense to me because its use here means "to make certain that (something) shall occur or be the case."
    But I agree with you about the use of complicity. I prefer "to ensure compliance" (the action or fact of complying with a wish or command). I think many people make this vocabulary error.

  5. #5
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: ensure complicity

    Yes, 'compliance' would do the job much better. I'd go so far as to suggest that 'compliance' is a malapropism. (But bear in mind that we are dealing with an official announcement; the people dreaming these things up seem to be paid by the letter, or maybe by the syllable - and who cares whether the meaning is clear? )

    b

  6. #6
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    Re: ensure complicity

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I'd go so far as to suggest that 'compliance' is a malapropism.
    Complicity?

  7. #7
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: ensure complicity

    Of course

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