Ibn Battuta should be better known in the West today

Discussion in 'English Only' started by QingYanJuan, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. QingYanJuan Member

    汉语——英语
    1)Driven by curiosity, he journeyed to remote corners of the Islamic world, traveling through 44 modern countries, three times as far as Marco Polo. Little celebrated in the West, his name is well known among Arabs.
    2)Fortunately, he consented and wrote a book that has been translated into numerous languages, allowing people everywhere to read about his unparalleled journeys.

    4. Which of the following would the writer of this passage most likely agree with?
    A. Ibn Battuta’s journeys were very common for people of that time.
    B. Ibn Battuta’s stories are probably not true.
    C. Ibn Battuta’s journey was less important than Marco Polo’s.
    D. Ibn Battuta should be better known in the West today.

    here is several related sentences in the passage and the question. the right answer is D.
    i want to know the meaning of "should be better known" .
    in para 1), the author compare Marco Polo(who is well known in the west) with Ibn Battuta(Little celebrated in the West), then choice D can be understood as people should know more about Ibn Battuta(the fact is they don't).
    but in para 2). the author mentioned that his book is translated into numerous languages, allowing people everywhere to read about his unparalleled journeys. so choice D can be understood as Ibn Battuta is already well known in the West.

    so, which explaination is right? what is the exact meaning of "D. Ibn Battuta should be better known in the West today."

    thank you. waiting for your answers.
     
  2. velisarius

    velisarius Senior Member

    Greece
    British English (Sussex)
    D means "more people in the West should (ought to) know something about Ibn Battuta. This is even more true since his book is available in many languages. If the work had never been translated, it wouldn't be so surprising that he isn't better-known.
     
  3. e2efour

    e2efour Senior Member

    England (aged 76)
    UK English
    I don't think that replacing should with ought to here makes any difference.

    I see two (different) nuances for the meaning of should be better known:

    1) Desirability or recommendation, i.e. it would be a good idea for Ibn Battuta to be better known OR Ibn Battuta deserves to be better known.
    2) Surprise (we would have expected him to be better known, but he isn't).This is the meaning given by velisarius in her last sentence.

    (PS I'm glad I don't have to study modal verbs!)
     
  4. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    It is saying that Ibn Battuta is little known in the West, even though he has been translated into numerous languages.
     
  5. QingYanJuan Member

    汉语——英语
    got it, thank you all
     

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