You know what I mean…

A recent article begins: “Those less intimate with Hungarian political culture should be aware of the significance of March 15th and October 23rd.” Now, although I think we all realise what the author means, she is in fact saying the opposite. This is a kind of rhetorical ellipsis, I suppose, for “should be made aware” or “should make themselves aware”. In speaking, one can get away with infelicities like this, but when you see it written down it jumps out at you. Unless you’re the author or editor, of course.


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