adulteration racket

  • Orange Blossom

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. English
    Okay: I'm going to do a couple things here. First I'm going to 'talk' you through some interpretation in the hopes that you can apply that in the future.

    Manjunath was murdered for blowing the whistle on the petrol pump adulteration racket.
    Manjunath was murdered <-- This person got killed. Because the word is murder, someone did the killing. This means that someone was very upset or angry with him. Slight possibility is that it was an accident.

    for <-- For is often used to begin a clause that states a reason. I'm going to find out why he was killed.

    blowing the whistle <-- Oh, my. Something big is going on. This phrase is an idiomatic phrase that means that someone inside an organization of some sort, either legal or illegal, has reported wrong-doing to the authorities. Right now, my interpretation is that some folks that were involved in that illegal operation were either very angry or very scared ,and they either murdered or had someone murder the guy mentioned in the beginning of the sentence.

    on the petrol pump adulteration racket. <-- Okay, this tells me what he was reporting about and what the bad guys were involved in.

    petrol <-- British English for gasoline. Used to fuel cars, boats, trucks and other motorized vehicles and equipment. Modifies the word pump.

    adulteration <-- Based on the word adulterate which means to corrupt or defile.

    petrol pump adulteration <-- The petrol pumps were corrupted or defiled in some way. This is the wrong-doing that was going on. So the guy was murdered for telling the authorities about a bunch of folks who were changing the petrol pumps in some way. Maybe they were changing the gauges so that they said they pumped out more petrol than they really were, and the bad guys pocketed the difference in money.

    racket <-- ah-ha. This must identify the group of wrong-doers.
    ---------
    Now, I'm going to provide you with a definition for 'racket'.

    Okay, as a native English speaker, I can tell you that 'racket' in this context is a word used for an illegal organization that generally makes profits in illegal ways and generally has been in 'business,' as it were, for quite some time.

    Orange Blossom
     

    user_gary

    Banned
    India - Hindi
    Oh God !
    I thought blowing the whistle in a literary way `she blew whistle either by his mouth or by some instrument'.

    Thank you Organge Blossom. Thanks for your deep explanation. I got it now.
     

    Orange Blossom

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. English
    You're welcome.

    I thought blowing the whistle in a literary way `she blew whistle either by his mouth or by some instrument'.
    Oh, my. That would create added difficulties in understanding the text. In most cases, if you see the preposition "on" after "blow the whistle", "blowing the whistle", or blew the whistle" you can safely conclude that the meaning is the idiomatic expression. I'm sure there are exceptions, but I think they are few and far between.

    Orange Blossom
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    petrol pump adulteration <-- The petrol pumps were corrupted or defiled in some way. This is the wrong-doing that was going on. So the guy was murdered for telling the authorities about a bunch of folks who were changing the petrol pumps in some way. Maybe they were changing the gauges so that they said they pumped out more petrol than they really were, and the bad guys pocketed the difference in money.
    I must say that was a wonderful post, OB. I hope it won't seem ungenerous to open the question of what the racket was.

    I just don't see how someone can easily make money by defiling or corrupting petrol pumps. In BE we use adulterate to mean to dilute a liquid, usually by adding some other less expensive liquid. The racket you suggest - fraudulently causing the pumps to misread the quantities - would be more likely called a petrol pump scam or a petrol pump misreading fraud. The word adulterate suggests to me that it was the petrol which was in some way debased, by the addition of some cheaper volatile liquid, than the misreading scam you suggest. Of course to call it the petrol pump adulteration racket does suggest that something was done to the pumps themselves, but the word adulteration is too particular to allow for such an explanation, in my view.
     

    Orange Blossom

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. English
    I must say that was a wonderful post, OB. I hope it won't seem ungenerous to open the question of what the racket was.
    Of course not. I was interpreting the sentence using the syntax and wording present. As you so aptly said:
    Of course to call it the petrol pump adulteration racket does suggest that something was done to the pumps themselves
    . I was also applying what background knowledge I had. I am aware of altering pump gauges (Folks can pocket a lot of money this way if there are large quantities of pumps involved). Interpretations are always subject to alteration when getting more information from the context. :) This is why the 'maybe' before the sentence: Maybe they were changing the gauges . . . Clearly you had some background information that I lacked which led to your slightly different interpretation. :)
    Excellent post Thomas.

    Orange Blossom
     
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