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    #1

    meaning of "square" and "one hears"

    Dear all,

    I read about BBC English, and it says:

    Given John Reith’s influence, it is difficult to square assurances of apparent linguistic neutrality with a line from Broadcast over Britain: ‘One hears the most appalling travesties of vowel pronunciation.’

    I am pretty confused about the whole sentence.
    Firstly, what does "square assurances of apparent linguistic neutrality" mean?
    Secondly, does "One hears the most appalling travesties of vowel pronunciation" simply mean that "there are appalling ways to pronunce vowels" ?

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: meaning of "square" and "one hears"

    In the first part, "to square" is a verb, followed by "assurances of apparent linguistic neutrality". Does that help? You seem to thinks that "square assurances" is a phrase made up of an adjective and a noun. It isn't.

    The second means that some people pronounce vowels in a way which the speaker thinks is appalling. It's a very subjective statement.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: meaning of "square" and "one hears"

    Thank you for your reply. But I still don't understand what "to square assurances of something" mean...

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: meaning of "square" and "one hears"

    Have you looked up the meaning of "square" as a verb in dictionaries?

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    #5

    Re: meaning of "square" and "one hears"

    Yes, I have. There are several definitions, including formal and informal usages, and I don't know which one fits into this context.

    Besides, I don't understand the idea behind the whole sentence. I mean, I guess it's saying John Reith is a very influencial person. But then, what's the rest part of the idea it's saying?

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: meaning of "square" and "one hears"

    In this case, it means (more or less) reconcile or see how they work together.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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