Can you please explain my doubt here : originally-developed-by-ancient-hawaiians-surfing-appeals-102734.html#p1393602
The doubt deals with "due to" vs "because of".
Yes, I am happy to help.
First of all, let's think about the Modifier Touch Rule
. This is usually
true. This is NOT 100% true. What are the most common exceptions?
1) a vital noun modifier
can come between a noun and a noun-vital modifier; the noun-vital modifier would not touch the noun. See:http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-gramm ... modifiers/
2) a short list of examples
---- "... leafy-green vegetables, such as lettuce or kale, which contain
.." The "which
" clause clearly refers to "vegetables
", not "kale
." This is known exception to the touch rule.
3) a short predicate
---- "The manager was fired who embezzled several thousand
..." The "who
" clearly refers to "manager
", even though a short predicate intervenes.
Now, the word "due
" is an adjective, a noun modifier, so it obeys the Modifier Touch Rule, and is subject to the common exceptions to the Touch Rule. How "short" does a short predicate have to be so that its intervening presence doesn't constitute a problem with the Touch Rule? Well, to some extent, that's a judgment call, a matter of taste. This is the part of grammar that is not mathematical and precise --- there's some wiggle room here.
In the sentence:
"... surfing appeals to people due to the sport’s unusual confluence of adrenaline, skill, and high paced maneuvering,
Well, that predicate, coming between the target noun "surfing
" and the modifier "due
" is relatively short --- only three words. Furthermore, the phrase "to people
" is idiomatically bound to the verb "appeals
" --- we can't put it elsewhere in the sentence, because it would disrupt the idiom. This is not a "vital modifier", because that concept applies only to noun modifiers, but immediacy of contact that the structure "to people
" demands is analogous to the demand of a vital noun modifier. Therefore, these three words need to go together, and even all together, it's only a three-word predicate --- hardly a big interruption between the target noun and its proper modifier. This is well within the valid exceptions to the touch rule.
Yes, that idiomatic phrase contains a second noun, and couldn't we read "due
" as illogically applying to "people
"? Well, that reading disregards the tight idiomatic relationship between "to people
" and "appeals
Having said all this, I am not 100% happy with this question. Technically "surfing
" is not "due to the sport’s unusual confluence of
..." Rather, the "appeal
" is "due to
" all that. Technically, this is a use of the adjective "due to
" as a verb-modifier, which in my understanding is 100% wrong. Admittedly, this use is rampant in colloquial English, and this may be a rare instance in which the GMAT has slightly more relaxed standards than do we grammatical purists. I don't know how old that particular question is: I have seen other older questions contain subtle mistakes such as this or questionable elements, and those questions were eliminated from future editions. Sometimes, the folks who write the GMAT are not perfect. I am not sure how relaxed the GMAT standards are on this, but it's very good to know the rule and all its exceptions with great precision.
Does all this make sense?
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