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# Following the destruction of the space shuttle Challenger,

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Following the destruction of the space shuttle Challenger, [#permalink]  01 Jun 2005, 19:52
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Following the destruction of the space shuttle Challenger, investigators concluded that many key people employed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and its contractors work an excessive amount of overtime that has the potential of causing errors in judgment.

(A) overtime that has the potential of causing
(B) overtime that has the potential to cause
(C) overtime that potentially can cause
(D) overtime, a practice that has the potential for causing
(E) overtime, a practice that can, potentially, cause
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choose D
for causing doesn't sound correct though!
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At this rate - I shall retire from posting answers on this forum pretty soon

I was between D and E - made a quick decision to go with D, but now I realise that E makes more sense.

for causing in D is indeed incorrect
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going with (E). A comma is preferred to seperate the overtime and the remaining part of the sentence. (A), (B) and (C) doesn't sound right with the comma missing.

In (D), 'for causing' is not appropriate.

E it is.
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Vithal wrote:
:crying

At this rate - I shall retire from posting answers on this forum pretty soon

I was between D and E - made a quick decision to go with D, but now I realise that E makes more sense.

for causing in D is indeed incorrect

ah.. Vithal, you shouldn't retire from this forum, your contributions are very valuable here. Besides, to err is human..
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I guess can and potential are considered redundant so I picked D.

In most of the choices I narrow down to 2, of which I pick 1 after using all possible rules I remember, however it's always the other one which turns out to be the right one.
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Vithal wrote:
choose D
for causing doesn't sound correct though!

E. You are right , pontential for ..is not idiomatic.(potential to)

HMTG.
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how can it be E) ? "can" and "potentially" is redundant, is it ? its D).
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christoph wrote:
how can it be E) ? "can" and "potentially" is redundant, is it ? its D).

"potentially" is used here as a a parenthetical element and as a figure of style. Had the commas not seperated "potentially" from "can", then yes, this would have been a pleonasm, or in other words, redundant.
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Vithal wrote:
:crying At this rate - I shall retire from posting answers on this forum pretty soon.

I was between D and E - made a quick decision to go with D, but now I realise that E makes more sense.

for causing in D is indeed incorrect

no you are not retiring. OA is E.
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would choose E...D & E both sound correct but D is more wordy...
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Paul wrote:
christoph wrote:
how can it be E) ? "can" and "potentially" is redundant, is it ? its D).

"potentially" is used here as a a parenthetical element and as a figure of style. Had the commas not seperated "potentially" from "can", then yes, this would have been a pleonasm, or in other words, redundant.

What is wrong with D though?

potential for causing [a gerund type of noun] errors in judgement.

Paul, I've noticed you say that appositives and other parenthetical alements are "figure of style". What do you exactly mean? Also is it a general rule that redudancy is allowed if its an appositive [as was the case with "can, potentially, cause...."
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gmataquaguy wrote:
Paul wrote:
christoph wrote:
how can it be E) ? "can" and "potentially" is redundant, is it ? its D).

"potentially" is used here as a a parenthetical element and as a figure of style. Had the commas not seperated "potentially" from "can", then yes, this would have been a pleonasm, or in other words, redundant.

What is wrong with D though?

potential for causing [a gerund type of noun] errors in judgement.

Paul, I've noticed you say that appositives and other parenthetical alements are "figure of style". What do you exactly mean? Also is it a general rule that redudancy is allowed if its an appositive [as was the case with "can, potentially, cause...."

well this doesn't really answer your question but my reason for choosing E over D was to see which says the same thing without using too many words....i compared 'has the potential for causing' and 'can potentially cause'...since both are grammatically correct, i chose the shorter one...thats just a method i use in cases where i can't find a flaw in two of the answers...but i'm sure its not foolproof, if even the right thing to do
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A figure of style is a way of expressing one's self through a particular writing style. Use of seemingly similar words would be a pleonasm but when separated by a comma, it is considered a figure of style, a way of putting an emphasis on the previous word to stress its importance.

For instance, this example would be redundant:

The restaurant was overcrowded beyond capacity two days ago.

However, this example would NOT be so:

The restaurant was overcrowded, beyond capacity, two days ago.

While the first example is redundant, the second is not because the appositive/parenthetical element within commas will be a figure of style to emphasize the author's meaning when he said "overcrowded" and would thus be considered grammatically correct.

I remember that example with the "wings" whereby the repetition of "wings" was a figure of style rather than pure repetition. The question was something like this:

X with wings, wings so smooth that...

Although "wings" is repeated twice, it is used so in a figure of style which aims at repeating the previous word to emphasize its importance. You can certainly reconstruct the sentence without the repetition but you will see that the emphasis would perhaps shift to some ofther aspects of the sentence.
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Thanks for the good explanation!
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Paul wrote:
I remember that example with the "wings" whereby the repetition of "wings" was a figure of style rather than pure repetition. The question was something like this:

X with wings, wings so smooth that...

Although "wings" is repeated twice, it is used so in a figure of style which aims at repeating the previous word to emphasize its importance. You can certainly reconstruct the sentence without the repetition but you will see that the emphasis would perhaps shift to some ofther aspects of the sentence.

This is a resumptive modifier.

The Manager failed to control the rising dissatisfaction amongst the team members, dissatisfaction that is likely to have long-term repercussions for the company.
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I will go with E. Initially I was attracted to C as it is concise but E makes more sense as it correctly refers to the previous clause i.e. "contractors work an excessive amount of overtime".
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A "That" cannot refer to an entire antecedant clause, but only to a specific noun (a rule, which for GMAT purposes, applies to all the relative pronouns--"who, what, when, where, which, and that"). Consider the last part of the antecedent clause, "...work an excessive amount of overtime that..." In this construction, "that" refers to "(the working) of an excessive amount of overtime" rather than to "overtime," itself. GMAT grammatical rules don't allow this sort of reference for any of the relative pronouns.

B Same problem as A.

C Same problem as A and B.

E As far as I'm concerned this is standard usage. But, for the purposes of getting the question correct, according to GMAT rules, this choice may be problematic on the grounds of redundancy. "Can" implies "possibility" but not "certainty." "Potential" also implies "possibility" but not "certainty."

As for D, it sounds and looks a little awkward. But, consider this sentence, "He has the potential for greatness." Here, "greatness" is a noun (not an adjective or an adverb). "Potential for" is correct in this sentence, as the idiomatic expression is followed by a noun. Now, consider this sentence, "He has the potential to be great." In this sentence, the idiomatic expression is followed by an infinitive verb form (not a noun). "Potential to" is correct in this sentence. Now, re-consider the question, Option D, "...potential for causing errors in judgement." The bolded phrase is a gerund clause, which is a noun rather than a verb. This makes "potential for" correct, in this instance. The gerund "causing" makes "potential for" look wrong, since "to cause," the infinitive verb form is what we're expecting. That's why this construction looks and sound wrong, even though it's technically correct.
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Re: SC: NASA [#permalink]  25 Aug 2007, 15:26
HIMALAYA wrote:
Following the destruction of the space shuttle Challenger, investigators concluded that many key people employed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and its contractors work an excessive amount of overtime that has the potential of causing errors in judgment.

(A) overtime that has the potential of causing
(B) overtime that has the potential to cause
(C) overtime that potentially can cause
(D) overtime, a practice that has the potential for causing
(E) overtime, a practice that can, potentially, cause

E. we need to specify what is causing errors. overtime practice not overtime itsellf.
Re: SC: NASA   [#permalink] 25 Aug 2007, 15:26
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