In the following text, what does the bold line imply:

In the coming weeks, there will be other reviews of Urwand’s book in major publications and in blogs, but for now I would like to plant a suggestion that will undoubtedly be greeted with derision by any publishing executive who hears of it: Urwand did some good digging, found some interesting things, but organized his book poorly and hurled all sorts of unprovable accusations. Harvard should acknowledge these problems and correct them in a revised edition that is better informed, if less sensational—for its own sake and for the sake of Urwand’s career as an historian.

-- New Yorker (2003)

  • Another question you asked suggests that you are confused here by the word that, which is here being used as a relativizer or relative pronoun (see this) rather than as a complementizer or subordinator. Sep 25, 2013 at 12:51

2 Answers 2


It means that what he is about to say, will be looked upon as ridiculous (greeted with derision) by publishing executives if they read this (... who hears of it).

"Plant a suggestion" means that he is suggesting something, as a way of giving the readers an idea of what could have be done to fix the issue. He wants this to happen, but has not a big expectation that it will be done.


Well, I don't see much room for implications here other that he assumes to know the reaction of his readers.

The author is about to give an opinion that he likes to discuss or wants to see other >people discuss (plant a suggestion)

He knows others will find this opinion questionable and he is ready for upcoming mockery
(... will undoubtedly be greeted with derision)

The people he expects reactions from are likely to be professional publishers
(any publishing executive who hears of it)

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