These three micro-dictations all contain the expression ‘grey area’. Complete each exercise, and then try to guess the meaning/usage of the expression from the context.
Accent: North America
…something of a grey area…
something of a + noun is a structure you can use to deemphasise something, to be vague about something, or to be less concrete.
Think of this phrase: Apparently you’re something of an expert on drones?. This puts less emphasis on the idea that the person is an expert, and therefore puts less pressure on the person you’re speaking to than if you just said: Apparently you’re an expert on drones?
grey area: meaning and explanation
A grey area is something that is unclear or not well defined. If something is a grey area, then it may be unclear how you should deal with it, what course of action is best, or who should be responsible.
For example, a legal grey area would be a situation in which it is not clear whether something is legal or illegal. This could be the result of social, cultural or technological changes which happen faster than the legal system can develop. Grey areas exist until laws are updated or clarified.