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  1. #1
    ian2 is offline Member
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    Default Who did the comparison? (Logical subject)

    Original:

    "Chinese are traveling and studying abroad, and they are not always pleased by the comparison between their country and its more economically advanced and democratic neighbors. Some are registering their dissatisfaction by publishing articles critical of the conduct of the government."

    There are two interpretations:

    1. Those travelers compare their country with the foreign countries and are not pleased with what they see. They think their own country has a lot to improve. Hence the article to criticize the government.

    2. Those travelers saw people in foreign countries compare their countries with China and the travelers are not pleased with that.

    Personally I think the correct interpretation is No. 1.
    Many thanks in advance.


  2. #2
    CHOMAT is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Who did the comparison? (Logical subject)

    I 'd opt for the first as well.

  3. #3
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Who did the comparison? (Logical subject)

    Quote Originally Posted by CHOMAT View Post
    I 'd opt for the first as well.
    I would say pleased with or about but not pleased by. By suggests passive.
    Jamshid

  4. #4
    ian2 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Who did the comparison? (Logical subject)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim View Post
    I would say pleased with or about but not pleased by. By suggests passive.
    Jamshid
    Thank you both. The "BY" actually could be the source for taking the second interpretation. But do you also agree with me for the first one?

  5. #5
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Who did the comparison? (Logical subject)

    Quote Originally Posted by ian2 View Post
    Thank you both. The "BY" actually could be the source for taking the second interpretation. But do you also agree with me for the first one?
    I think in the first there is a contradiction. The last sentence contradicts the first. So I wouldn't agree with the first. Maybe the word pleased is a problem too. The text implies the Chinese are not happy with what people say. To put it differntly their displeasure doesn't refer to their government. What's the reference?
    Last edited by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim; 05-Jun-2007 at 23:53.

  6. #6
    CHOMAT is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Who did the comparison? (Logical subject)

    The attention should also be paid on
    Chinese and not the Chinese
    Not always
    some
    Who claims the more advanced ' reported speech 'Indirect style ???
    Anyhow the structure ' are not pleased (by) the comparison ' suggests that the comparison is made by someone else. vs those who travel are prone to compare their own country with...
    The first answer after a second thought, won't do.

  7. #7
    ian2 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Who did the comparison? (Logical subject)

    Quote Originally Posted by CHOMAT View Post
    The attention should also be paid on
    Chinese and not the Chinese
    Not always
    some
    Who claims the more advanced ' reported speech 'Indirect style ???
    Anyhow the structure ' are not pleased (by) the comparison ' suggests that the comparison is made by someone else. vs those who travel are prone to compare their own country with...
    The first answer after a second thought, won't do.
    From the linguistic point of view, I would go with the second one too. But the Chinese travelers when going back to China and deciding to write articles to criticize the government, what do they want to say? With the second interpretation, they are going to say, Government leaders, I heard the comparison from the foreign countries that are not favorable to China, you should do something. With the first interpretation, they would say: government leaders, do something, I still see a big gap between China and those advanced foreign countries. Too me, the first makes more sense. Here is a larger context:

    Clamoring Middle Class

    Pressure on the government is not only coming from the poor and
    the disadvantaged, but also from the growing rural and urban middle
    class. China’s citizens are calling for clean water, better housing, better
    health care and education, more political participation, and more accurate
    information. Chinese are traveling and studying abroad, and they
    are not always pleased by the comparison between their country and
    its more economically advanced and democratic neighbors. Some are
    registering their dissatisfaction by publishing articles critical of the conduct
    of the government, launching Internet blogs discussing sensitive
    topics, filing lawsuits to challenge official misconduct, and even mounting
    efforts to unseat unpopular local officials using direct elections.
    Last edited by ian2; 07-Jun-2007 at 02:35.

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Who did the comparison? (Logical subject)

    I'd say it's the first; if they were dissatisfied with what foreigners were saying, they'd be criticising the foreigners, not the government. It could be worded better, but the meaning doesn't imply the second choice to me.

  9. #9
    ian2 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Who did the comparison? (Logical subject)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I'd say it's the first; if they were dissatisfied with what foreigners were saying, they'd be criticising the foreigners, not the government. It could be worded better, but the meaning doesn't imply the second choice to me.
    Yes. I have gotten another opinion from a moderator who also thinks the first is the right answer, same as Tdol's. Thank you all for all the contributions. The case is closed.

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