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# According to the writings of Thorstein Veblen, the economist, the most

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According to the writings of Thorstein Veblen, the economist, the most  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 09 May 2018, 01:28
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48% (01:45) correct 52% (01:55) wrong based on 1377 sessions

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According to the writings of Thorstein Veblen, the economist, the most reliable signal of a truly wealthy individual is his or her ability and willingness to engage in "conspicuous consumption"—to spend it in a way that is patently absurd or irrational.

(A) Thorstein Veblen, the economist, the most reliable signal of a truly wealthy individual is his or her ability and willingness

(B) Thorstein Veblen, the economist, the most reliable signal that one is truly wealthy is whether one is capable and willing

(C) economist Thorstein Veblen, the most reliable signal of one's true wealth is whether an individual is capable and willing

(D) the economist Thorstein Veblen, an individual's true wealth is most reliably signaled by their ability and willingness

(E) the economist Thorstein Veblen, the most reliable signal of true wealth is an individual's ability and willingness

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Originally posted by farhanc85 on 16 Aug 2013, 11:24.
Last edited by hazelnut on 09 May 2018, 01:28, edited 2 times in total.
Edited the question.
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Re: According to the writings of Thorstein Veblen, the economist, the most  [#permalink]

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17 Aug 2013, 21:39
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8
Good find on the pronoun 'it' in the non-underlined portion of the sentence toward the end. Pronouns (particularly the ones after the underlined portion) usually go unnoticed along with the associate eliminations (A & B here).

I'll add an elimination here on answer choices B & C [It's an idiomatic elimination, so hopefully it wouldn't come into play for you on the real test, but it's still interesting to point out]. B and C say "is capable and willing to engage". Willing to engage is idiomatic, but capable to engage is not idiomatic - the proper idiom would be "capable of", but then you would have to change "to engage" to "engaging".

KW
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Re: According to the writings of Thorstein Veblen, the economist, the most  [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2013, 11:58
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farhanc85 wrote:
According to the writings of Thorstein Veblen, the economist, the most reliable signal of a truly wealthy individual is his or her ability and willingness to engage in "conspicuous consumption"—to spend it in a way that is patently absurd or irrational.

A)Thorstein Veblen, the economist, the most reliable signal of a truly wealthy individual is his or her ability and willingness
B)Thorstein Veblen, the economist, the most reliable signal that one is truly wealthy is whether one is capable and willing
C)economist Thorstein Veblen, the most reliable signal of one's true wealth is whether an individual is capable and willing
D)the economist Thorstein Veblen, an individual's true wealth is most reliably signaled by their ability and willingness
E)the economist Thorstein Veblen, the most reliable signal of true wealth is an individual's ability and willingness

some theory:(gmat will not test this)
this is a special idiom.:
if you preface someone's name with a noun describing their occupation (or other word describing what that person does), WITHOUT AN ARTICLE, you DO NOT use a comma.

if there's an article, you DO use a comma.

if it's an adjective, you DO use a comma.

example:
Jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk ... --> correct
A jazz pianist and composer, Thelonious Monk ... --> correct
Creative and original, Thelonious Monk ... --> correct

Now lets come to question:

According to the writings of Thorstein Veblen, the economist, the most reliable signal of a truly wealthy individual is his or her ability and willingness to engage in "conspicuous consumption"—to spend it in a way that is patently absurd or irrational.

if you read this then you will find that there is IT in non underlined portion.
to spend it ===> what we will spend according to this question....obviously wealth ....so we need WEALTH as a noun for the pronoun IT.
BASING THIS ERROR you can eliminate options A and B

LETS COME TO OPTIONS:

A)Thorstein Veblen, the economist, the most reliable signal of a truly wealthy individual is his or her ability and willingness
WRONG.
-- We need wealth in place of wealthy as discussed.

B)Thorstein Veblen, the economist, the most reliable signal that one is truly wealthy is whether one is capable and willing
WRONG.
--same as A

C)economist Thorstein Veblen, the most reliable signal of one's true wealth is whether an individual is capable and willing
WRONG.
-- ONE cannot be replaced by individual ...one should always be replaced by one

D)the economist Thorstein Veblen, an individual's true wealth is most reliably signaled by their ability and willingness
WRONG.
-- their == plural and individua = singular...pronoun number error.

E)the economist Thorstein Veblen, the most reliable signal of true wealth is an individual's ability and willingness
CORRECT.

HENCE E
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##### General Discussion
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Re: According to the writings of Thorstein Veblen, the economist, the most  [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2013, 12:11
1
farhanc85 wrote:
According to the writings of Thorstein Veblen, the economist, the most reliable signal of a truly wealthy individual is his or her ability and willingness to engage in "conspicuous consumption"—to spend it in a way that is patently absurd or irrational.

A)Thorstein Veblen, the economist, the most reliable signal of a truly wealthy individual is his or her ability and willingness
B)Thorstein Veblen, the economist, the most reliable signal that one is truly wealthy is whether one is capable and willing
C)economist Thorstein Veblen, the most reliable signal of one's true wealth is whether an individual is capable and willing
D)the economist Thorstein Veblen, an individual's true wealth is most reliably signaled by their ability and willingness
E)the economist Thorstein Veblen, the most reliable signal of true wealth is an individual's ability and willingness

A,B,C - We need the article 'The', we are specifying a particular person here.
D- Their is plural. It's would have been appropriate.
E- Correctly states the sentence and removes the need of a pronoun.
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Re: According to the writings of Thorstein Veblen, the economist, the most  [#permalink]

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16 Mar 2014, 17:42
KyleWiddison wrote:
Good find on the pronoun 'it' in the non-underlined portion of the sentence toward the end. Pronouns (particularly the ones after the underlined portion) usually go unnoticed along with the associate eliminations (A & B here).

I'll add an elimination here on answer choices B & C [It's an idiomatic elimination, so hopefully it wouldn't come into play for you on the real test, but it's still interesting to point out]. B and C say "is capable and willing to engage". Willing to engage is idiomatic, but capable to engage is not idiomatic - the proper idiom would be "capable of", but then you would have to change "to engage" to "engaging".

KW

How would you know that the pronoun "it" does not refer to a different noun (signal, ability, or willingness) in the previous clause of (E)? Of course logically, the pronoun shouldn't refer to anything else besides "wealth" as the antecedent, but structurally, it's not clear to me what the antecedent of the "it" is in the choice (E).
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Re: According to the writings of Thorstein Veblen, the economist, the most  [#permalink]

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03 Oct 2018, 04:50
1
Official Explanation by Manhattan Prep :

This sentence describes an assertion from the writings of the economist Thorstein Veblen: namely, that individual wealth is most reliably signaled by the ability and willingness to engage in "conspicuous consumption," a concept that the sentence then defines.

(A) The pronoun it in the phrase spend it in a way should logically refer to wealth or money; however, no such noun exists in the sentence (wealthy is an adjective).

(B) The pronoun it in the phrase spend it in a way should logically refer to wealth or money; however, no such noun exists in the sentence (wealthy is an adjective). Whether is also illogical, suggesting that whether someone is willing or is not willing to engage in "conspicuous consumption” is a signal of wealth. Rather, someone must have both the ability and the willingness to do so. Finally, in the parallel structure capable and willing to engage, the idiom willing to + verb is acceptable, but the idiom capable to + verb is not (the sentence should say capable of engaging).

(C) The shift from one's to an individual is unacceptable; it illogically suggests that the person possessing the wealth is not necessarily the same person who engages in "conspicuous consumption." Whether is also illogical, suggesting that whether someone is willing or is not willing to engage in "conspicuous consumption” is a signal of wealth. Rather, someone must have both the ability and the willingness to do so. Finally, in the parallel structure capable and willing to engage, the idiom willing to + verb is acceptable, but the idiom capable to + verb is not (the sentence should say capable of engaging).

(D) The plural pronoun their cannot refer to the singular noun an individual's.

(E) CORRECT. This sentence contains the singular noun wealth, which serves as a logical antecedent for it. Both ability and willingness combine idiomatically with to + verb.
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According to the writings of Thorstein Veblen, the economist, the most  [#permalink]

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25 Nov 2019, 18:39
According to the writings of ....
(A) Thorstein Veblen, the economist, the most reliable signal of a truly wealthy individual is his or her ability and willingness
"the economist" would mean that the writings are the economist

(B) Thorstein Veblen, the economist, the most reliable signal that one is truly wealthy is whether one is capable and willing
"the economist" would mean that the writings are the economist

(C) economist Thorstein Veblen, the most reliable signal of one's true wealth is whether an individual is capable and willing
Would mean that Throstein is an economical person, change the meaning.

(D) the economist Thorstein Veblen, an individual's true wealth is most reliably signaled by their ability and willingness
Their is no correct for individual´s

(E) the economist Thorstein Veblen, the most reliable signal of true wealth is an individual's ability and willingness
According to the writings of Thorstein Veblen, the economist, the most   [#permalink] 25 Nov 2019, 18:39
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