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    #1

    or so I was told

    “Some years ago, when I was a graduate student, I was at Oxford in England and they had men's and women's colleges. They weren't yet mixed and the women's colleges had rules against overnight male guests. By the 1970s, these rules were rarely enforced and easily violated, or so I was told. By the late 1970s, when I was there, pressure grew to relax these rules and it became the subject of debate among the faculty at St. Anne's College, which was one of these all-women's colleges.The older women on the faculty were traditionalists. They were opposed to change unconventional moral grounds.”
    1.What does "or so I was told" mean here?
    2.Since the older women were traditionlaists ,they were supposed to stick with conventional moral grounds,why unconventional moral grounds?
    Thanks.

  1. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: or so I was told

    Quote Originally Posted by masterding View Post
    1.What does "or so I was told" mean here? "At least that's what people told me".
    2.Since the older women were traditionlaists ,they were supposed to stick with conventional moral grounds,why unconventional moral grounds? My guess is that, by the time of the debate, such strict rules were no longer deemed "conventional". Therefore, for the writer, those women were sticking to what s/he thought were unreasonably strict rules.
    Thanks.
    Maybe native speakers will have something to add/correct to my answer.

    PS: Could you please tell us what is the source of that paragraph? This forum encourages its members to acknowledge their sources, when the writing is not their own.
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  2. Roman55's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: or so I was told

    I am not a teacher.

    1. '...or so I was told', means that that is what you heard/were told but you can't vouch for the accuracy of the assertion.

    2. There is something wrong with that last sentence, apart from what you are asking about. It is true that traditionalists tend to be conventional.
    Last edited by Roman55; 11-Jul-2014 at 23:12. Reason: fixing typo

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: or so I was told

    Quote Originally Posted by masterding View Post
    “They were opposed to a change on conventional moral grounds.”
    This is a defective sentence. I think it is supposed to mean the above. I was trying to make a change that would accomodate "unconventional moral grounds", but "grounds" makes it difficult. They could be opposed to a change to (toward) unconventional moral standards, but that would still be on conventional moral grounds.
    Note also that "a change to" can mean opposite things - "a change toward", or "a change away from".

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