0

Ronald and Anthony are listening to a speech about Quantum mechanics.

Ronald: "Can you make any sense of what the professor is talking about?"

Anthony: "It's hard to say I understand it completely."

Does Ronald use "make any sense" to indicate that speech is too difficult to understand and assumes Anthony probably just understand it partly, in contrast to "understanding completely"?

1

"Can you make any sense (of it)" literally means "Does any of this make any sense?"

In other words, it is a rhetorical flourish implying that not one idea can be understood, that is, not one sentence has any meaning.

Anthony's reply suggests that he may be using ironic understatement, in the same way that someone who has had all the skin burned off his hand may say "I must confess it does sting a little."

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.