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According to many Uighurs, that conflict began with Internet, text messages and street rumors beyond the grasp of Party censors, helping spread claims that dozens, if not hundreds, of Uighurs were slain in the factory in Shaoguan, Guangdong.
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Last edited by albertino; 14-Jul-2009 at 07:13.
"if not hundreds"
'if not' =perhaps even; it could even be.
This phrase is used to introduce a more extreme term than one first mentioned.
"dozens, perhaps even hundreds..."; "dozens - it could even be hundreds - of Uighurs were slain..."
beyond the grasp of Party censors
'grasp' can have two meanings. Here, it means that while Party censors can control what the media reports, and, say, prevent public announcements, speeches, rallies, demonstrations, they cannot take control of what happens on the Internet in terms of emails, of text messaging, and what people talk about in private -- information that they then pass on to other people and so rumours begin. So - 'beyond their grasp' here means 'out of their reach, unable to seize, take hold of these kinds of ways by which information is disseminated.
'grasp' can also mean to fully comprehend, get a mental hold of...
so that 'beyond the grasp' in another context would mean that some concepts are beyond a person/group of people's ability to understand.
e.g. some very abstract ideas in mathematics might be beyond the grasp of many, if not most, ordinary people.
Last edited by David L.; 14-Jul-2009 at 05:47.