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  1. suprunp's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • Ukrainian
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      • Ukraine
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      • Ukraine

    • Join Date: Apr 2011
    • Posts: 599
    #1

    to trace command responsibility

    In times of tension, vast arrays of NSA personnel fluent in the relevant languages are sitting with earphones, monitoring in real time everything from encrypted commands from the target nation's General Staff to pillow talk. For other material there are key words by which computers cull out for human attention specific messages or conversations of current urgent concern. Everything is stored, so that retrospectively it is possible to go back to the magnetic tapes and to trace the first appearance of a codeword, say, or command responsibility in a crisis.
    (C. Sagan; The Demon-Haunted World)

    Have I read it correctly:

    Everything is stored, so that retrospectively it is possible to go back to the magnetic tapes and to trace
    1) the first appearance of a codeword, say,
    or
    2) command responsibility in a crisis.

    Thanks.

  2. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: to trace command responsibility

    Quote Originally Posted by suprunp View Post

    Have I read it correctly:

    Everything is stored, so that retrospectively it is possible to go back to the magnetic tapes and to trace
    1) the first appearance of a codeword, say [IMO, this use equals 'for example'],
    or
    2) command responsibility in a crisis.

    Thanks.
    Hi,

    IMO, it means that both things could be traced, if you needed them. The use of 'or', to me, implies that the speaker is just considering two random examples, not actual search instructions.

    charliedeut
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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      • England
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      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #3

    Re: to trace command responsibility

    Everything is stored, so that retrospectively it is possible to go back to the magnetic tapes and to trace the first appearance of a codeword, say, or to trace command responsibility in a crisis.

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