whose tentative voice could have reached the airwaves only on an amateur station

ttaa

Senior Member
persian
The announcer, a young and bashful man whose tentative voice could
have reached the airwaves only on an amateur station,
began to read out a
synopsis.

in the sentence in bold we have got "could have reached" but we have not got if clause.

Does the sentence in bold simply mean: His voice had reached the airwaves on an amateur station and he had not been speaking on professional station?

Source: The Children's Bach by Helen Garner
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It means that because his delivery was so tentative (hesitant), it was obvious that no one would yet deem him experienced or confident enough to employ professionally. That is, the fact that he was so young and green explained why he was only working as an amateur.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    The announcer, a young and bashful man whose tentative voice could have reached the airwaves only on an amateur station, began to read out a synopsis.​

    There is no if because the sentence tells us he has reached the job of being an announcer. That's a definite fact. He is reading a synopsis as an announcer. The narrator interjects to inform us that because his voice is not good, the only possible way for him to have gotten that job is if the people hiring him were not running a professional station. Therefore we know that since he is definitely an announcer then he definitely must be working at an amateur station. He couldn't have reached the airwaves on a professional station.
     

    ttaa

    Senior Member
    persian
    It means that because his delivery was so tentative (hesitant), it was obvious that no one would yet deem him experienced or confident enough to employ professionally. That is, the fact that he was so young and green explained why he was only working as an amateur.
    Lots of thanks, so can we say because he was not experienced and his delivery was so tentative, every one would guess that he was speaking on an amateur station?
     

    ttaa

    Senior Member
    persian
    The announcer, a young and bashful man whose tentative voice could have reached the airwaves only on an amateur station, began to read out a synopsis.​

    There is no if because the sentence tells us he has reached the job of being an announcer. That's a definite fact. He is reading a synopsis as an announcer. The narrator interjects to inform us that because his voice is not good, the only possible way for him to have gotten that job is if the people hiring him were not running a professional station. Therefore we know that since he is definitely an announcer then he definitely must be working at an amateur station. He couldn't have reached the airwaves on a professional station.

    :thank you:
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Now I’m confused. Maybe it’s ambiguous. Maybe it’s a professional station that this young man’s working at, but his lack of self-confidence gives away the fact that he’s only ever worked for an amateur station before?

    Some more context is needed, I think. Unfortunately, this part of the book is not in any Google Books preview.
     

    ttaa

    Senior Member
    persian
    Now I’m confused. Maybe it’s ambiguous. Maybe it’s a professional station that this young man’s working at, but his lack of self-confidence gives away the fact that he’s only ever worked for an amateur station before?

    Some more context is needed, I think. Unfortunately, this part of the book is not in any Google Books preview.
    There is no more context related to this part. Thanks alot, lingobingo...
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I see it as two ideas.

    The main topic is:

    - The announcer began to read out a synopsis.

    And the narrator takes a moment to set the scene by describing the announcer.

    - He was a young and bashful man whose tentative voice could have reached the airwaves only on an amateur station.

    The fact that he's reading an announcement means his voice has reached the airwaves. The announcer gives you the idea he wasn't particularly skilled, which might make you wonder how he got the job, but that's explained by the fact that he's on an amateur station.
     
    Last edited:

    ttaa

    Senior Member
    persian
    I see it as two ideas.

    The main topic is:

    - The announcer began to read out a synopsis.

    And the narrator takes a moment to set the scene by describing the announcer.

    - He was a young and bashful man whose tentative voice could have reached the airwaves only on an amateur station.

    The fact that he's reading an announcement means his voice has reached the airwaves. The announcer gives you the idea he wasn't particularly skilled, which might make you wonder how he got the job, but that's explained by the fact that he's on an amateur station.
    :thank you:
     
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