Katharine Gun: grammar and meaning notes
words and phrases in blue are linked to the Grammar Glossary
1 spent the first three years of her life
This is one of the three occurrences in this text of the clausal verb ["spend + "time" (or time-phrase)]. This verb seems to be much more common than the clausal verb, ["spend + 'money' (or money phrase)"] For example: "Harry spent ten thousand euros in the casino," "Harry spent everything he had in the casino."
Dictionaries can give the impression that the money-form of "spend" is the most important but only thirteen of fifty examples found by searching for "spend" in the British National Corpus were of the money-form.
Both forms of "spend" are prepositional verbs as well as being clausal verbs. In other words, their direct object can be followed by a prepositional object, preceded by "on," as in "Harry said Jane had spent too much time on the report, " and "Jane said Dick was spending too much money on beer."
2 Katharine grew up in Taiwan
"Grow up" is an intransitive phrasal verb.
It refers to the the process of becoming physically and mentally mature. Because the meaning includes the idea of mental maturity, adults who are behaving like children are often told to "grow up."
It is connected to the noun "a grown-up," which is a colloquial way of referring to an adult and a word which is used most commonly by children.
There is a connected, separable phrasal verb "bring up" which means to look after someone who is "growing up."
3 her university entrance exams
In this noun phrase the headword is the noun, "exams." It is modified by two noun modfiers, "university" and "entrance."
4 electronic surveillance
The basic meaning of "surveillance" is "watching something." However, the word is usually used to refer to secretly watching people to prevent them from doing something wrong or something you don't want them to do.
The word has been much more commonly used since surveillance with video cameras became common.
The prepositional phrase, "under surveillance" is also common. For example: "Sam didn't realize he was under surveillance, but when he was arrested, the police told him they had been watching him for several months. The clausal verbs "put under surveillance" and "keep under surveillance" are also common. For example: "While Sam was in jail, Dinah was constantly kept under surveillance."
Because it is used to describe one of the ways that governments, armies, police forces, and other powerful organizations keep ordinary people under control, "surveillance" often has a negative connotation.
The word does not always have this connotation, however: Doctors use it with a neutral connotation way, as in "After his operation Harry's doctors told him his condition would have to be kept under surveillance."
"Surveillance" comes from the French word, "surveiller" meaning "to watch over." (The prefix "sur" means "over" and "veiller" means "to watch.")
5 both domestic and foreign
"Domestic" here means "in the same country," or "in your own country.
"Domestic surveillance" is surveillance of electronic communications coming from inside the UK. When it is used in this way, "domestic" is the antonym of "foreign." ("Foreign" surveillance, is surveillance of communications coming from outside the country.)
To take another example, the "domestic policies" of a country are the policies that concern things that happen inside the country and its "foreign policies" are the policies that concern the country's relation with other countries.
In another sense of "domestic": domestic things are things inside people's homes or inside their families. "Domestic violence," for example, is violence toward other members of your family and "domestic appliances" are machines like refrigerators people have in their homes to help with housework. (There is no clear antonym to "domestic" when it is used in this way. Domestic appliances could be contrasted with "commercial" or "industrial" equipment. Domestic violence could be contrasted with "street violence.")
"Domestic" is used in a third sense in the phrase "domestic animal." Domestic animals are animals such as dogs, cats, horses, pigs, and sheep that have been tamed and bred by humans for use as food, for help with work, or for keeping as pets. Here, the antonym of "domestic" is "wild."
ETYMOLOGY: the word "domestic" comes originally from the Latin word "domus" meaning "house."
"Comparable" is the adjectival form of the verb "compare." It is close to the word "similar" in its meaning, but it is especially APPROPRIATE when two things have a similar position in two systems or organizations. For example: "Harry's responsibilities in his new job with the police are comparable to those he had when he was working in a hospital."
"Comparable" is pronounced: [kampərəbəl], with the stress on the first syllable and an UNSTRESSED vowel in each of the last three syllables. (It is often incorrectly pronounced [kampɛrəbəl] with the stress on the second syllable.)
The word "code," as it is used here, REFERS to a way of writing secret messages in which the usual letters are replaced by other letters. The idea is that only the people for whom the message is intended the people who know the code will be able to read the message. It is usually possible, however, for experts to "break the code" to figure out what the message really means just by studying the coded messages very carefully. People who do this are sometimes called "code-breakers." (Code-breakers are very important in wartime because they make it possible for one "side" to learn what the enemy's plans are.)
"Code-breaker" is a COMPOUND NOUN coming from the CLAUSAL VERB "to break a code." There is another clausal verb, probablyh more common, with the same meaning: "to crack a code."
There are two other important senses of "code." It can REFER to a set of laws or rules: For example, the "criminal code" of a country is the set of laws that are used to control crime in that country, and a "code of professional conduct" is the set of rules which control the behaviour of people who work in a profession such as law or education.
The word "code" is also used, very commonly, to refer to the instructions that tell a computer to do something. Computer programs are often "measured" by the number of "lines of code" they contain. (For example: Dick told Harry it would be possible to write the kind of program he wanted, but that it would require at least 70,000 lines of code.")
ETYMOLOGY: "Code" comes ORIGINALLY from the LATIN word "caudex" which meant "tree trunk" but which also came to refer to a board for writing on and then to a book of laws.
8 low-level job
"Low-level" is a COMPOUND NOUN MODIFIER made up of an ADJECTIVE and a NOUN. It is HYPHENATED here to make it clear that "low" MODIFIES "level" and not "job." (In other words, it is the level that is low, not the job.)
By comparison, in the NOUN PHRASE "a low stone building," as in "Tom's kidnappers kept him in a low stone building," there is no hyphen because the word "low" modifies "building," not "stone." (In other words, it modifies the HEAD WORD of the phrase, not the following modifier.)
9 She was working with a group of colleagues, monitoring the Chinese delegation.
"Monitoring the Chinese delegation" is a SUPPLEMENTIVE CLAUSE. Supplementive clauses are NON-FINITE clauses which are used as a way of getting more information into a sentence without making it long and complicated. In other words, they are a way of making writing more COMPACT and therefore more EFFICIENT. (For example: The sentence in the text could have been written as two sentences: "She was working with a group of colleagues. Together, they were monitoring the Chinese delegation." But using the supplementive clause makes it possible to convey the same information more efficiently and just as COMPREHENSIBLY.
Supplementive clauses are typically used in writing not speaking. This is partly because communicative efficiency is more important in writing than in speaking; but it is also because if supplementive clauses are not used carefully, they can be confusing and ugly and it is easier to write carefully than to speak carefully.
For more on supplementive clauses see "Complex Sentences," Chapter Eight.
The VERB "monitor" means "to watch and at the same time to record information." There is a common and useful CLAUSAL VERB with a similar meaning, "to keep track (of)," as used, for example in, "Jill told Jack she had been keeping track of how much he spent on gambling."
As a NOUN, "monitor" REFERS to a computer screen. It also refers to a student who helps a teacher with jobs like cleaning the blackboard and handing out papers.
ETYMOLOGY: "monitor" comes from the LATIN word "monitor," meaning a person who watches and warns others of danger. (Monitor lizards were given their name, because, in the past, they were thought to be a warning sign of crocodiles.)
10 Katharine saw an e-mail
Since e-mail was invented in the 1970s there has been a lot of disagreement about how the word should be spelled. The most popular spellings are "e-mail" and "email." It seems that "email" is the most commonly used, but many editors and writers prefer the HYPHENATED form and there are respected dictionaries that recommend it.
In this text and elsewhere on flesl.net, the hyphen is used. There is a good reason for this policy: Spelling the word in this way increases CLARITY; it makes it easier to see that the "e" that begins the word is an ABBREVIATION of "electronic"; and it also makes it easier to see how the word is meant to be pronounced [i:meɪl;] and not [əmeɪl].
A further advantage of the hyphenated spelling is that it creates CONSISTENCY between the spelling of "e-mail" and the spelling of words such as "e-commerce," "e-cash," and "e-government."
11 the e-mail disturbed Katharine
. When it is used to describe the PHYSICAL world, "disturb" means to change something in a way that makes it less organized or neat, or quiet, or peaceful. For example, "As Jack and Jill stood at the edge of the pool, a large fish suddenly disturbed the calm surface of the water," or "When Dinah got back to her apartment, the first thing she noticed was that the papers on her desk had been disturbed." The NOUN form, "disturbance" is also used in this way. For example: "In the morning, Dick asked Jane if she had heard the disturbance on the street during the night."
"Disturb" is also often used to refer to changes of a similar kind in the MENTAL world, but when it is used in this way, its meaning is not as PRECISE. To say, for example, that the e-mail disturbed Katharine does not IMPLY that before she saw it, she was feeling calm and quiet. It simply means that she was unhappy about the e-mail or that she was "troubled" by it.
Less STRICTLY used, "disturb" means more or less the same thing as "bother" or "interrupt." For example, "Harry asked Jill not to let anyone disturb him while he was sleeping," or "Sarah was talking to Jack when Jane arrived. She apologized for disturbing them."
ETYMOLOGY: "disturb" comes from the LATIN word, "turba" which means "confusion."
12 to help them undermine the UN
The VERB "mine" means to dig under the earth, usually to find METALS such as silver or gold or some other valuable MATERIAL.
The verb "undermine" is formed by putting the PREFIX "under" in front of the verb "mine." It is used to REFER to the ancient MILITARY PRACTICE of digging underneath the walls of an enemy's fort so that they are weakened and collapse as a result.
There is a more common, EXTENDED SENSE in which "undermine" is used to REFER to a similar NATURAL PROCESS, as in "Jack and Jill are afraid that eventually their house will be undermined by the small stream that runs beneath it."
There is also a common METAPHORICAL use in which "undermine" is used to refer, not to anything PHYSICAL, but to an ANALAGOUS weakening of the power or AUTHORITY of a person or an INSTITUTION. This is how the word is used in the text: The idea is that, just as a wall can be weakened by tunneling under it, the UN can be weakened if its delegates begin spying on one another.
In modern wars, armies do not dig tunnels under each other's fortifications, but "mine" still has an important military use in the COMPOUND NOUN, "landmine." A landmine often called a "mine" is a small bomb that is put just under the surface of the earth in the hope that when an enemy soldier steps on it, it will explode. Armies often "plant" landmines over large "minefields" in order to restrict their enemies' movements. (In ancient times, when gunpowder was invented and bombs came into existence, soldiers soon got the idea of making their "mines" more effective by putting explosives into them. This modern use of "mine" seems to have its origin in that practice.)
The ETYMOLOGY of "mine" is not well understood, but it is connected to LATIN, CELTIC, and old FRENCH, words meaning "mineral" or "ore."
13 a place where people from all over the world could debate
This is a NOUN PHRASE. The HEADWORD "place" is MODIFIED by the ADJECTIVE CLAUSE "where people from all over the world could debate." The clause is introduced by the RELATIVE PRONOUN, "where."
Adjective clauses are normally introduced by one of the STANDARD relative pronouns, "that," "which," or "who." They can be INTRODUCED by "where" only when they MODIFY the noun "place" or some other noun that REFERS to a place. For example, "Tom told Dick and Harry that the restaurant where he had seen Dinah was a dangerous place," or "The town where Sarah grew up was badly bombed during the war."
A test for whether or not "where" can be used as a relative pronoun is to ask: whether the PREPOSITIONAL RELATIVE PRONOUN, "in which" could be correctly SUBSTITUTED, as for example in, "The restaurant in which Harry saw Dinah is a dangerous place."
Adjective clauses beginning with "where" and "when" (as in "Dick will never forget the afternoon when he and Jane walked along the river together.") are sometimes called "adverbial relative clauses" because like adverbials they give information about "when" and "where," but this can be misleading because, like other adjective clauses, these clauses modify nouns not VERBS.
For more on SPECIAL and STANDARD ADJECTIVE CLAUSES see Chapter Six of "Complex Sentences."
14 could debate important issues calmly and logically...calm, rational debate
In its first occurrence here, "debate" is a VERB; in its second it is a NOUN. A debate is a discussion between two or more people in which one "side" tries to convince the other that its "position" on some "issue" is correct.. For example: "Dick and Jane watched a debate on television between a man who was against capital punishment and a woman who was in favour of it."
TYPICALLY, debates happen in PUBLIC, in a government "legislature," for example, or in a meeting, or on television or radio, but they can happen in PRIVATE too. Debates are normally "calm" and "polite" but they can also be "excited" (or "emotional") and "rude" (or "hostile").
To say that people are debating "logically" means that they are thinking, and speaking, clearly, accurately, and honestly or, in other words, following the "rules of logic." (An example of a rule of logic: If A is inside B and B is inside C, then A is inside C.)
Someone who does not follow the rules of logic is being "illogical," or, to use the ADVERB form, they are thinking or speaking "illogically."
The word "rational" is, more or less, a SYNONYM of "logical." Just as "logical" is the ADJECTIVE form of "logic," "rational" is the adjective form of "reason." Human beings are being "rational" when they are thinking logically.
The ANTONYM of "rational" is "irrational" and the antonym of "logical" is "illogical.")
The word "reason" has another connected, but quite different use in sentences such as "Harry says he had a good reason for criticizing Sarah at the meeting." Here "reason" is an APPROXIMATE SYNONYM for "purpose." Sometimes "reason" is used in a different SENSE, as an approximate synonym for "cause." For example: "Jack tried to convince Jill that the reason for (or "the cause of") the hot weather was the amount of carbon dioxide in the air."
Another connected word is "reasonable." It can be used as a synonym of "rational" but it is also often used to mean something like: "willing to compromise" or "being agreeable," as in "After two hours of trying to convince Dick to take her with him to Sweden, Jane told him he was not being reasonable and left the room."
COLLOQUIALLY "reasonable" also has the meaning of "inexpensive."
See also entry (17) below.
|15 she was baffled by the fact that people were still dropping bombs
To say that someone is "baffled" by something means that, although they have tried to understand it, they are not able to. The word "puzzled" is an APPROXIMATE SYNONYM and could be SUBSTITUTED in the text, but "baffled" is perhaps better because it EMPHASIZES that Katharine was didn't like the idea of going to war with Iraq.
"Baffle" is a METAPHORICAL use of a word which, when it is used LITERALLY, REFERS to a DEVICE (a piece of MACHINERY or a piece of clothing, for example) which prevents air, or liquid, or animals from "flowing" freely or moving from one place to another. "Harry complained that the cold wind was coming through his new jacket and Sarah promised that, later, she would sew in a thicker baffle behind the zipper."
16 his government wanted to go to war
"Go to war" is a CLAUSAL VERB. There are several other useful clausal verbs with a similar STRUCTURE: "go to school," "go to university, "go to jail," "go to work." Notice that in all these verbs, with the exception of "go to work," a SINGULAR COUNT NOUN is used without an ARTICLE.
17 emotional language
"Emotional" is the ADJECTIVE form of the NOUN "emotion."
An emotion is a strong "feeling," for example, fear, love, hate, guilt, shame, remorse, anger, or disgust.
"Emotional language" is language which is intended not to give true information but is intended instead to create emotions in the people who hear or read it. The idea in the text is that Tony Blair spoke the way he did in order to get people to feel fear and, in that way, to get them to support his war.
The OPPOSITE of emotional language is "calm, rational, logical language." (See entry  above.)
18 getting them to feel fear and hatred
"Get" is used CAUSATIVELY here. In other words, the meaning is that the government was "causing" the people to feel fear and hatred.
"Get" used as a causative is often similar in meaning to "have" used in the same way, but here it is closer to "make." "Have" would be inappropriate in this context because it would imply that the British people understood that the government was "getting" them to feel something. The idea in the text is that the British government was "manipulating" the British people in other words cleverly using political speeches and media reports so that people would come to believe that war was necessary and think that they had come to this opinion by using their own judgment (although in fact the government had "got" them to think that way.)
Notice that unlike the other causatives, "get" is COMPLEMENTED with a "to"-infinitive.
For more on the meaning of the causatives and more examples of their use see the Glossary entry.
19 when the British people saw that their government was willing to help the Americans
Although the BASIC use of "see" is to describe VISUAL PERCEPTION seeing things with our eyes in other words the VERB has many other important uses that have nothing to do with the eyes.
The most important of these uses is as a SYNONYM for "understand," or "come to understand," or "learn" or "figure out," or "realize."
This is how the verb is used in the text. Another example of the same use: "At first Sarah was annoyed by Harry's remarks, but then she saw he was joking and she began to laugh."
Another common use of "see" is as a synonym for "visit" as in, "When Jill told Jane about the pain in her chest, Jane said she should see a doctor." (This would be perfectly correct even if Jill were blind.)
Sometimes when "see" is used to mean "visit" there is an IMPLICATION of ROMANTIC involvement, as, for example, in "Jane knew that Dick was still seeing Sarah."
20 she had had to promise
The VERB PHRASE, "had had," is in the PAST PERFECT TENSE. In this phrase, the verb, "have" is repeated because it is used both as the AUXILIARY VERB and the MAIN VERB. The past perfect is formed by using the past tense of the verb "to have" as an auxiliary, followed by the PAST PARTICIPLE of the main verb.
The PRESENT PERFECT form of this verb phrase would be "has had," as in "She has had to promise." (If the main verb were changed from "have" to "refuse," the present perfect would be, "She has refused to promise" and the past perfect would be, "She had refused to promise.")
This is a good example of the most common use of the past perfect tense. It is used here to INDICATE that one event, Katharine's making a promise, happened before another event, Katharine's thinking very hard about what she should do. The earlier event is REFERRED to with the SIMPLE PAST: "Catherine spent a few days..."
Because of the TIME CLAUSE in the same sentence ("When she had taken the job...") and the CONTEXT of the story, the ORDER of the events mentioned would be clear even if the past perfect were not used, and it would not be a GRAMMATICAL error to use the simple past to refer to both events. However, using the past perfect here is the NATURAL thing to do and it does make the sentence easier to understand.
21 by revealing the information
"Information" is a NON-COUNT NOUN.
Non-count nouns do not always require an ARTICLE or other NOUN INTRODUCER in the way that SINGULAR COUNT NOUNS do. But here the article, "the" is put before "information" to INDICATE that the PARTICULAR information being REFERRED to has already been IDENTIFIED earlier in the text.
It would not be a GRAMMATICAL ERROR here to omit the article, but putting it in makes the text, clearer, more NATURAL and therefore easier to understand. If the article were omitted, a reader would not realize, immediately and AUTOMATICALLY that the information being referred to here is not "new" information but the "old" information about Frank Koza's e-mail.
22 she was released on bail
"Release on bail" is a CLAUSAL VERB.
In many legal systems, if someone is arrested by the police because they are thought to have committed a crime, they will quickly appear in court in order to be formally charged. Often, after they have been charged, they will be released "on bail" until the date of their trial. This means that they will leave an amount of money with the court. If they do not appear in court on the date of their trial, then the bail money will be not be returned to them.
Someone who has been released on bail is often spoken of as being "out on bail" or "free on bail. The clausal verb "set bail" is used in sentences such as " The judge set Sam's bail at one million pesos."
There is also a PHRASAL VERB, "bail out." It is not usually used in a LEGAL CONTEXT but it is used COLLOQUIALLY to mean something like "help out of financial trouble" in sentences such as "Whenever Dinah is in trouble because of her gambling debts, Sam comes along and bails her out." The verb is also used to describe the process of removing the water from a leaky boat, as in "Tom, Dick, and Harry couldn't get back to shore because of the storm and they had to spend the whole night bailing out the boat with tin cans." Because a bucket or "pail" would often be used to do this job, this use of "bail" is perhaps explained by the word's etymology.(See below.)
ETYMOLOGY: the word "bail" comes to English from the old FRENCH verb "baillier" which meant both "carry" and "take charge of" and before that from the LATIN, "bajulus" meaning carrier. It is thought that there was a later Latin word, "bajula" which meant "water carier" (So the modern meaning of the English word, perhaps, is a good example of an originally METAPHORICAL meanging becoming the LITERAL meaning: someone who pays a person's bail, "carries" the responsibility for that person.) (There is also, perhaps, a connection with an early English word "baille" meaning "bucket" and with the modern word "pail" having the same meaning.)
23 with the curtains drawn
The word "draw" here means "pulled together."
"Draw" is an important English VERB.
From the point of view of an ESL student or teacher, it may seem as if the BASIC meaning of the word is "using a tool, such as a pencil, to make a picture." For example: "Sam drew a picture of Dinah while she was sleeping."
Certainly this is an important use of "draw"; and because it REFERS to a particular, easily recognized ACTIVITY, it is easy to learn and to remember. However, this use probably accounts for no more than fifteen percent of all the occurrences of "draw" and the other words in the same WORD FAMILY, "drew," "drawn," and "drawing." (This ESTIMATE is based on a search of the British National Corpus.)
The BASIC meaning of "draw" is similar to the meaning of "pull." It has a very long history as an English word. It was used in OLD ENGLISH which was spoken between 450 and 1150. Its origins are in INDO-EUROPEAN, the long-dead language that is the ANCESTOR of a large group of languages that includes ENGLISH, FRENCH, LATIN and GREEK.
"Draw" is not often used now with the LITERAL meaning of "pull." The sentence "I think we should draw the curtains now," would sound OLD-FASHIONED to most English speakers. It is still quite normal, however, to use "drawn" in this way in a "WITH" + "ING-FORM PHRASE" like the one in the text.
It also SURVIVES with the literal meaning of "pull" when it is used to describe pulling a gun from a "holster" as in, "Sam put his hands in the air as soon as he saw the police officer draw his gun."
The literal use survives too, in the COMPOUND ADJECTIVE, "horse-drawn" as in: "Dinah told Harry she would marry him if they could ride away from the wedding in a horse-drawn carriage." (Also, the common word "drag" meaning "pull across the ground" comes from the same Indo-European ROOT as "draw.")
"Draw" is still used, however, in several ways to refer to METAPHORICAL pulling." Usually, when it is used in this way "draw" is part of a CLAUSAL VERB, PREPOSITIONAL VERB or a PHRASAL VERB. The clausal verbs "draw conclusions (from)" and "draw attention (to)" are both very common. (For example: "Harry told Jane she shouldn't draw any conclusions from the fact that she had not been invited to Sarah's party" and "Tom has recently written several articles drawing attention to the abuse of old people.")
The prepositional verb "draw on" is also important. (For example: "In writing his article on the abuse of old people, Tom drew on his own experience of working in hospitals.")
Three common SEPARABLE phrasal verbs using "draw" are: "draw up," meaning "to write a document of some kind," "draw out" meaning "to take an unnecessarily long time," and "draw in" meaning "to convince someone to do something MORALLY wrong or dangerous." (For example: "After talking all night Tom and Dick finally came to an agreement. Tom said he would have his lawyer draw up an agreement right away." "When it was Harry's turn to speak he talked for at least half an hour. He always draws everything out." "When they were having lunch, Tom asked Dick what he thought about Jane's behaviour, but Dick didn't want to be drawn into a conversation on that subject.")
Tne meaning of NOUN, "drawer," as in "Dinah told Harry that she keeps a gun in her desk drawer," clearly REFLECTS the basic meaning of the word "draw." To use a drawer is something that "draws" or "pulls" out.
"Draw" is also used as a noun and a verb when referring to a game that ends in a "tie" as in "After sitting over the chess board for nearly six hours, Sam and Dinah finally agreed to a draw."
24 she had become a hero
A hero is a courageous person who risks being killed or harmed in order to help other people. Many people thought Katharine was a hero because she sacrificed her career and risked going to jail in order to help her country.
The word "hero" is often also used, more VAGUELY, to REFER to the main CHARACTER in a NOVEL, or POEM or PLAY, as in "Tom told Dick that the hero of the novel he was writing was a person like Harry."
There is a FEMININE form of "hero" "heroine" but this is not generally used now. This is because FEMINIST ideas are influential in the ENGLISH-SPEAKING WORLD (particularly among writers, publishers and ACADEMICS) and feminists generally believe that special feminine words like "waitress" or "actress" and special MASCULINE words like "fireman" or "fisherman" are SEXIST.
There is perhaps another reason why the word "heroine" has become little used: It is a HOMONYM for the word "heroin" which refers to an extremely addictive recreational drug. (This is not a COINCIDENCE: "heroin" was originally a TRADEMARK. In 1898 when the Friedrich Bayer Company started selling heroin, they chose this name because they thought the drug made people feel strong and confident and courageous enough to do "heroic" things.)
ETYMOLOGY: "Hero" comes from the GREEK word "heros" which referred to a "demi-god" a person who was partly human and partly a god. (And that word has its ORIGINS in the INDO-EUROPEAN ROOT "ser" which has the meaning of "watching over" or "protecting.")
25 civil rights organization
This is a NOUN PHRASE. The HEADWORD is "organization." "Rights" is a NOUN MODIFIER which itself is MODIFIED by the ADJECTIVE "civil"
A "civil rights organization" is an ORGANIZATION whose purpose is to protect or to promote civil rights.
The phrase "civil rights" REFERS to what a person is allowed to do or to have in a particular SOCIETY or STATE. If people have the civil right of FREE SPEECH, for example, they can say what they want to say publicly without any fear of being punished. If they have the civil right of freedom of movement, they can live or travel wherever they want in their own country and if they want to leave the country, they can do so. If people have a civil right to an education or to medical care, then their society or state has the DUTY to provide them with those things.
Usually a state will protect the civil rights of its CITIZENS with LAWS, but they may be protected simply by CUSTOM.
Civil rights are not quite the same as HUMAN RIGHTS. Civil rights are rights people really do have in a particular SOCIETY. They have them, in other words, because they belong to a society that provides them. Human rights are the rights that people should have whether or not their society actually provides them.
The question of exactly what things are human rights is CONTROVERSIAL. Many people think, for example, that there is a human right to be paid fairly for work. Many people think that all human beings have a right to be educated or to receive good medical care. Many people think that abortion is a human right or that men and women have a human right to live openly as homosexuals. But many others believe that one or another of these things is not a human right at all. Such people believe, for example, that if someone cannot pay for an education they should not get it or that homosexual behaviour should be against the law. There are also some people who do not believe that human rights exist; the only real rights, in their opinion, are civil rights that have been given by a particular society to its citizens.
26 they planned to say
This is a "comment clause." In a comment clause, the speaker or writer gives an opinion on the whole sentence. The point of the comment in this case is to INDICATE that the sentence states the position of Katharine's lawyers not the writer's POSITION. Comment clauses are often used in newspaper or magazine articles because it is often important for writers of such articles to make it clear that they are not expressing their own opinions. (There is a similar comment clause in the next sentence of the text.)
Comment clauses are similar in their FUNCTION to DISJUNCT ADVERBIALS. For example, the disjunctive adverbial phrase, "according to her lawyers" could have been used instead of the comment clause, "they planned to say" and the effect would have been the same. Comment clauses have a different STRUCTURE from disjuncts however. Disjuncts are PHRASES or single words; comment clauses are INDEPENDENT CLAUSES that could be removed from the sentences that contain them and written as separate SENTENCES with a CAPITAL at the beginning and a PERIOD at the end.
27 they demanded the government release the documents
This is an example of the MANDATIVE SUBJUNCTIVE.
Normally, in the SIMPLE PRESENT, a SINGULAR NOUN like "government" will "take" an S-FORM VERB, as for example, "Tom, Dick and Harry agree that the government wants us to believe we are in danger."
However, here, because the verb "release" complements the mandative verb "demand," the base form, "release" is used.
"MANDATIVE" is a GRAMMATICAL TERM it comes from the word "mandate" which has the meaning of "OFFICIAL order or instruction." English verbs take this form when they COMPLEMENT verbs that have the meaning of giving orders, instructions, demands, recommendations, requests etcetera.
The mandative subjunctive is VISIBLE only in two cases:
(1) In the THIRD-PERSON SINGULAR of the PRESENT SIMPLE, where the base-form, not the s-form, is used.
(2) When the complementing verb is "be," where the BASE FORM is used.
An example of (1): "Harry is insisting that Jill spend the night at his place."
An example of (2): "Sadly, Harry told Jill Tom had recommended she be fired.
For more on the mandative subjunctive and other subjunctive forms see the GLOSSARY ENTRY "SUBJUNCTIVE."
28 the government refused to do so
"So" here is a PRO-VERB. As a pro-verb, it takes the place of the verb "release," just as PRONOUNS take the place of NOUNS.
Like pronouns, pro-verbs are useful because they make it possible to avoid REPETITIVENESS. It would obviously be repetitive to say, "They demanded the government release the documents which, they said, showed that the war was legal. The government refused to release the documents." By SUBSTITUTING the pro-verb, the sentence is made simpler and clearer.
Notice that although "so" takes the place of the VERB, "remove" it must be used with the AUXILIARY VERB "do."
Notice that by using "so" here it is also possible to omit (or ELIDE) the OBJECT of the clause, "the documents."
And notice that instead of using "so" it would also be possible to avoid repetitiveness here by using a PRONOUN and saying, "The government refused to do that."
29 Katharine's trial was scheduled
"Schedule" is a verb made from the NOUN "schedule."
In American English the most common PROUNCIATION is [ʃɛʤəl]. In British English the most common pronunciation is [skɛdyu:l].
ETYMOLOGY: In MIDDLE ENGLISH "sedule" meant a "short note." In late LATIN, "scheda" meant "papyrus leaf." (Papyrus is a plant used for making paper in ANCIENT TIMES.)
30 they were unwilling to release the documents
The sentence "They were unwilling to release the documents" is SYNONYMOUS with "They refused to release the documents."
"Unwilling" is the ANTONYM of "willing." "They were willing to release the documents" is synonymous with, "They did not refuse to release the documents."
These adjectives are connected to the MODAL AUXILIARY "will" which can be used with a similar meaning as in "Harry said to Jill with a friendly smile, 'I will help you if you want me to.' "
It is also connected with the noun "will" as in "Sarah is a brilliant woman, but she just doesn't have the will to succeed," and (with a different SENSE) in "Harry told Jane he had rewritten his will and left all his money to her."
And it is connected with the adjective "willful" which means something like "determinedly and unreasonably stubborn." For example, "Dick told Tom that Sarah was extremely willful and that she would probably refuse to do the job even if he threatened to fire her."
Finally it is connected with the adverb "willingly." "Harry willingly went on the picnic with Jane and Dick" means that Harry was happy to go on the picnic and that he wasn't doing it because it was his duty or because he was forced.