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# Although oft-maligned in modern culture, the pigeon once stood not

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Although oft-maligned in modern culture, the pigeon once stood not  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 14 Dec 2017, 19:57
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Although oft-maligned in modern culture, the pigeon once stood not only for speed and reliability but also for grace and beauty. Darwin himself became a pigeon fancier after beginning to work with the humble Columbia livia , discovering them to be more fascinating than he had formerly believed. During the Victorian age, in fact, raising show pigeons was a popular hobby, with new breeds continuously arising as amateur (and not-so-amateur) ornithologists crossed animals in the hopes of creating ever more fantastic creatures. One of the most sought-after varieties was known as the Almond Tumbler, a name presumably derived form the color of the birds combined with the distinctive flight style. Over the course of many generations, this bird was so manipulated as to have a beak so small as to prevent the adult birds from feeding their offspring. And yet, it was wildly popular drawing high prices at auctions and high prices at competitions.

How then did an animal once so well-loved come to be so loathed? As recently as World War II, the military used pigeons to carry messages but today, many people would kick a pigeon before they would feed one. Perhaps it is just a problem of population density, a lack of esteem for that which is ubiquitous. Pigeons have become our constant urban companions and, as such, have been transformed from symbols of peace, plenty, and prosperity, to representatives of disease and decay.

1. The primary purpose of this passage is to

(A) convince the reader of the nobility of the pigeon, based on its history as a symbol of virtue
(B) dissuade the reader from mistreating a once-majestic animal that has fallen from favor
(C) rebut claims that the pigeon carries disease any more frequently than do other domestic animals
(D) promote a renewal of pigeon fancying and a resurgence of breeds such as the Almond Tumbler
(E) suggest that there might be more to the story of some urban wildlife than is commonly known

2. The case of the Almond Tumbler is most analogous to which of the following?

(A) a strain of wheat that can be grown in plentiful quantities but loses much of its nutritional value in the process
(B) Arabian horses that are able to run at phenomenal speeds due to centuries of careful breeding designed to enhance those physical attributes
(C) vitamins that were purported to provide all of the necessary nutrients but have since been found not to be very effective
(D) the dachshund, a popular breed of dog that is nonetheless prone to severe back problems, due to weaknesses exacerbated by targeted breeding
(E) the wild rock doves that are most commonly found nesting in the faces of cliffs far from human habitation

3. The passage suggests that

(A) pigeons were once known for flying with celerity
(B) the Almond Tumbler was the most beautiful breed of pigeon
(C) Darwin was infatuated with his fancy pigeons
(D) modern pigeons are dirtier than the fancy pigeons of yore
(E) only scientists should breed new kinds of animals

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Thanks a lot!

Originally posted by Annie28 on 14 Dec 2017, 17:50.
Last edited by broall on 14 Dec 2017, 19:57, edited 1 time in total.
Reformatted questions
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Re: Although oft-maligned in modern culture, the pigeon once stood not  [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2017, 09:00
Can someone explain the answers to these I was stuck between answer choices and got all three wrong. I choose A, B, D but the answers are E D A i narrowed down to these two choices and choose the wrong one all three times.
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Re: Although oft-maligned in modern culture, the pigeon once stood not  [#permalink]

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22 Dec 2017, 04:36
2
spatel2 wrote:
Can someone explain the answers to these I was stuck between answer choices and got all three wrong. I choose A, B, D but the answers are E D A i narrowed down to these two choices and choose the wrong one all three times.

Hi spatel2,

Question 1:
(A) convince the reader of the nobility of the pigeon, based on its history as a symbol of virtue
(B) dissuade the reader from mistreating a once-majestic animal that has fallen from favor
(C) rebut claims that the pigeon carries disease any more frequently than do other domestic animals
(D) promote a renewal of pigeon fancying and a resurgence of breeds such as the Almond Tumbler
(E) suggest that there might be more to the story of some urban wildlife than is commonly known - the author does not take any stance. The passage is descriptive - it simply talks about how pigeons were seen in the past and gives one reason to explain why this the opinion has changed.

2. The case of the Almond Tumbler is most analogous to which of the following?
(A) a strain of wheat that can be grown in plentiful quantities but loses much of its nutritional value in the process
(B) Arabian horses that are able to run at phenomenal speeds due to centuries of careful breeding designed to enhance those physical attributes
(C) vitamins that were purported to provide all of the necessary nutrients but have since been found not to be very effective
(D) the dachshund, a popular breed of dog that is nonetheless prone to severe back problems, due to weaknesses exacerbated by targeted breeding - the last part of this answer mentions breeding. Like Almond Tumbler, this dog has become prone to back problems (a disadvantage). As a result of manipulations, the bird was nearly unable to feed it's offspring (also a disadvantage).
(E) the wild rock doves that are most commonly found nesting in the faces of cliffs far from human habitation

3. The passage suggests that
(A) pigeons were once known for flying with celerity - the first sentence of the passage.
(B) the Almond Tumbler was the most beautiful breed of pigeon - beauty wasn't discussed.
(C) Darwin was infatuated with his fancy pigeons - too strong.
(D) modern pigeons are dirtier than the fancy pigeons of yore - such comparison isn't given.
(E) only scientists should breed new kinds of animals - too strong and it's not mention who should or should not do that.

I hope this will help. Feel free to point to my mistakes made in the explanations above. Thanks
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Re: Although oft-maligned in modern culture, the pigeon once stood not  [#permalink]

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27 Dec 2018, 20:11
1

+1 kudos to the posts containing answer explanations of all questions

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Although oft-maligned in modern culture, the pigeon once stood not  [#permalink]

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27 Dec 2018, 20:25
1
Annie28 wrote:
1. The primary purpose of this passage is to

(A) convince the reader of the nobility of the pigeon, based on its history as a symbol of virtue
(B) dissuade the reader from mistreating a once-majestic animal that has fallen from favor
(C) rebut claims that the pigeon carries disease any more frequently than do other domestic animals
(D) promote a renewal of pigeon fancying and a resurgence of breeds such as the Almond Tumbler
(E) suggest that there might be more to the story of some urban wildlife than is commonly known

The tone of passage is informational and suggestive.Also it tells about the history of pigeon which may not be commonly known these days ,so E.
Ans :E
Quote:
2. The case of the Almond Tumbler is most analogous to which of the following?
(A) a strain of wheat that can be grown in plentiful quantities but loses much of its nutritional value in the process -Due to some wrong practice,the thing loses it real qualities.Sounds simlilar to Almond Tumbler.This is close.Keep it for now.
(B) Arabian horses that are able to run at phenomenal speeds due to centuries of careful breeding designed to enhance those physical attributes -This is opposite of expected.We are looking at example wherein style of breeding caused manipulations that were not good for creature.
(C) vitamins that were purported to provide all of the necessary nutrients but have since been found not to be very effective -.It is example of fading away of some quality ,but no reason given.Out of scope.
(D) the dachshund, a popular breed of dog that is nonetheless prone to severe back problems, due to weaknesses exacerbated by targeted breeding -Bingo.Targeted breeding creating problems.
(E) the wild rock doves that are most commonly found nesting in the faces of cliffs far from human habitation- First look ,out of scope.

Related lines from passage:
with new breeds continuously arising as amateur (and not-so-amateur) ornithologists crossed animals in the hopes of creating ever more fantastic creatures.
AND
Over the course of many generations, this bird was so manipulated as to have a beak so small as to prevent the adult birds from feeding their offspring
This is similar to D
Ans D

Quote:
3. The passage suggests that
(A) pigeons were once known for flying with celerity -the pigeon once stood not only for speed and reliability but also for grace and beauty
(B) the Almond Tumbler was the most beautiful breed of pigeon - One of the most sought-after varieties was known as the Almond Tumbler.Not beautiful but sought after.
(C) Darwin was infatuated with his fancy pigeons -Close .Keep it.
(D) modern pigeons are dirtier than the fancy pigeons of yore - ...representatives of disease and decay.Not dirty.So eliminate.
(E) only scientists should breed new kinds of animals -Completely Irrelevant,Eliminate.

So between A and C.It is too close to my liking.
To find some small reason to eliminate one of them ,lets take a look at below sentence.
Darwin himself became a pigeon fancier after beginning to work with the humble Columbia livia , discovering them to be more fascinating than he had formerly believed.
C says- Darwin was infatuated with his fancy pigeons.Passage says Darwin became a pigeon fancier after beginning to work.SO he was not infatuated ,but became infatuated later.
So ,A remains
Ans :A
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Although oft-maligned in modern culture, the pigeon once stood not  [#permalink]

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28 Dec 2018, 03:20
2
4 mins 20 secs and got all correct. The passage is straightforward but the questions are tricky because of close options.

Summary/Main point - ALthough currently loathed and hated, the pigeons once stood for grace and agility. Pigeon breeding was popular with some varieties ( Almond tucker) fetching high prices. Even the army used it as a messenger and it was a bird representing prosperity. Today however it represents disease and decay because of population density in urban areas.

Need to understand the central idea of the passage and tone of the author ( here it is neutral as the author is describing facts and presenting opinions of the past and present)
1. The primary purpose of this passage is to

(A) convince the reader of the nobility of the pigeon, based on its history as a symbol of virtue "Nobility" is incorrect usage. Discard
(B) dissuade the reader from mistreating a once-majestic animal that has fallen from favor Nah - the author does not give any opinion or advice regarding this. Moreover this is too detailed to be the primary purpose
(C) rebut claims that the pigeon carries disease any more frequently than do other domestic animals Other animals are not mentioned and hence this comparison is uncalled for
(D) promote a renewal of pigeon fancying and a resurgence of breeds such as the Almond Tumbler Does not promote the renewal of almond tucker. Discard
(E) suggest that there might be more to the story of some urban wildlife than is commonly known BINGO - even though termed in a general way - the author does talk about the pigeon in a similar context

Almond tucker was a case of popular variety of a common animal which was selectively bred and that breeding lead to a drawback ( the inability to feed it's young)
2. The case of the Almond Tumbler is most analogous to which of the following?

(A) a strain of wheat that can be grown in plentiful quantities but loses much of its nutritional value in the process Nah - not analogous
(B) Arabian horses that are able to run at phenomenal speeds due to centuries of careful breeding designed to enhance those physical attributes TRAP Option - this is what we are looking for except there is no drawback to the selective breeding
(C) vitamins that were purported to provide all of the necessary nutrients but have since been found not to be very effective BS option
(D) the dachshund, a popular breed of dog that is nonetheless prone to severe back problems, due to weaknesses exacerbated by targeted breeding Bingo - selective breeding leading to a drawback in a popular breed of dog
(E) the wild rock doves that are most commonly found nesting in the faces of cliffs far from human habitation Nope - these doves are wild and hence there is no selective breeding

Again central idea is crucial to answer this question, also we can resort to process of elimination of options
3. The passage suggests that

(A) pigeons were once known for flying with celerity HOLD. What is the meaning of celerity? (is it agility?) BINGO- even by POE this makes the most sense so even if you do not know the meaning of celerity - this is the safe bet
(B) the Almond Tumbler was the most beautiful breed of pigeon Too extreme - we are just told it was a popular pigeon, but nothing about being the most beautiful is mentioned
(C) Darwin was infatuated with his fancy pigeons TRAP - darwin was not infatuated but was fancied by pigeons. SO incorrect usage of the correct words is kept to confuse
(D) modern pigeons are dirtier than the fancy pigeons of yore Passage talks about pigeons being associated with disease and decay - nothing about them being dirty can be assumed
(E) only scientists should breed new kinds of animals BS Option

Verdict - Easy passage but tricky options in questions which could lead to bad accuracy.
Best,
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Although oft-maligned in modern culture, the pigeon once stood not  [#permalink]

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28 Dec 2018, 03:38
Quote:
(C) Darwin was infatuated with his fancy pigeons TRAP - darwin was not infatuated but was fancied by pigeons. SO incorrect usage of the correct words is kept to confuse

I am still confused on C .Could you explain the meaning of both words in context of passage.
This is what google tell me-
Infatuated-be inspired with an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for something
fancied-be enthusiast of something,fancier is especially someone who has a special interest in or breeds a particular animal.
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Re: Although oft-maligned in modern culture, the pigeon once stood not  [#permalink]

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28 Dec 2018, 04:05
Infatuation is too strong a word I feel. It is usually used to show love between humans or like you pointed out- feelings of passion that are intense. We have no reason to believe that what Darwin felt for those pigeons was intense feelings of passion. (Hopefully )

That is why I discard option C.

Best,

Quote:
(C) Darwin was infatuated with his fancy pigeons TRAP - darwin was not infatuated but was fancied by pigeons. SO incorrect usage of the correct words is kept to confuse

I am still confused on C .Could you explain the meaning of both words in context of passage.
This is what google tell me-
Infatuated-be inspired with an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for something
fancied-be enthusiast of something,fancier is especially someone who has a special interest in or breeds a particular animal.

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“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” - Yoda (The Empire Strikes Back)

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Re: Although oft-maligned in modern culture, the pigeon once stood not  [#permalink]

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28 Dec 2018, 08:36
8.76mins overall. got the 2nd question wrong. but was a silly decision, I felt it was an easy passage.. shouldn't had spent so much time in reading.
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Re: Although oft-maligned in modern culture, the pigeon once stood not  [#permalink]

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28 Dec 2018, 08:50
I am not sure how D can be the answer to Qs 2. I feel B can be the answer. The arabian horse has been breeded like the AT to make it better(enhance attributes). D can also be considered but looks inferior to B.
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Re: Although oft-maligned in modern culture, the pigeon once stood not  [#permalink]

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29 Dec 2018, 07:37
All correct within 6 mins, including 3 mins to read.

Para 1- Traces the story of the pigeon - status in modern culture vs that in past
Para 2- How & why -- change in the attitude of people towards the pigeon

1. The primary purpose of this passage is to
(A) convince the reader of the nobility of the pigeon, based on its history as a symbol of virtue - Incorrect
(B) dissuade the reader from mistreating a once-majestic animal that has fallen from favor - Incorrect - the author does not dissuade the reader
(C) rebut claims that the pigeon carries disease any more frequently than do other domestic animals - Incorrect - no such rebuttal is made
(D) promote a renewal of pigeon fancying and a resurgence of breeds such as the Almond Tumbler - Incorrect
(E) suggest that there might be more to the story of some urban wildlife than is commonly known - Correct

3. The passage suggests that
(A) pigeons were once known for flying with celerity - Correct
(C) Darwin was infatuated with his fancy pigeons - Incorrect - infatuated seems to strong

2. The case of the Almond Tumbler is most analogous to which of the following?

(B) Arabian horses that are able to run at phenomenal speeds due to centuries of careful breeding designed to enhance those physical attributes - Incorrect- the breeding did not cause any downside to the species under consideration

(D) the dachshund, a popular breed of dog that is nonetheless prone to severe back problems, due to weaknesses exacerbated by targeted breeding - Correct - Targeted breeding increased the weakness and thus made DS more prone to severe back problems(a downside) .

Though I selected the correct answer, I have a query.

Targetted breeding is done (usually to improve)to get the desired characteristics in a species, but in option D, it led to a downside.
In case for Almond Tumbler, we see that small beak was a downside, but it seems that the intent of the manipulation was to get a small beak.

One of the most sought-after varieties was known as the Almond Tumbler, a name presumably derived form the color of the birds combined with the distinctive flight style. Over the course of many generations, this bird was so manipulated as to have a beak so small as to prevent the adult birds from feeding their offspring.--> The breeding manipulated the bird to have a small bleak, which prevented adult birds from feeding their offspring ---- This is a downside

AjiteshArun , GMATNinja , MagooshExpert , GMATGuruNY , VeritasPrepBrian , MartyMurray - please enlighten
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Re: Although oft-maligned in modern culture, the pigeon once stood not   [#permalink] 29 Dec 2018, 07:37
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