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# Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their

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Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2004, 06:48
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Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested, but in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy, the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.

(A) in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy

(B) if criminal or delinquent behavior is attributed to an allergy to some food

(C) in attributing behavior that is criminal or delinquent to an allergy to some food

(D) if some food allergy is attributed as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior

(E) in attributing a food allergy as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2004, 07:12
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D and E are out because they do not use a right idiom (to attribute x to y).
A and C are out because they sound like perpetrators are the ones who attribute behavior to allergy. I think the ones who attribute behavior to allergy in the SC are attorneys.

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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their [#permalink]

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27 Apr 2012, 13:29
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Hi Shikhar,

Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested, but in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy, the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.

In the underlined portion of the sentence, the verb-ing modifier “in attributing…” is modifying the subject of the following clause which is “the perpetrators”. This suggests that the perpetrators perform the action of “attributing” which is illogical.
Let’s take simple examples to see how this modifier is functioning.

Reading from the red book, grandmother put the children to sleep.

Here, the verb-ing modifier is “reading”. So, who did the action of reading? Grandmother. Since “grandmother” is the subject of the following clause, modifier “reading” is correctly modifying “grandmother”.

Reading the book, the children were out to sleep by grandmother.

This sentence is not correct because the subject of the clause is now “the children” and they certainly did not do the action of “reading”.

In the same way, “perpetrators” did not do the action of “attributing” the criminal behavior. They are the ones who showed criminal behavior. Now, the “perpetrators” falls in the non-underlined portion of the sentence. Hence we must choose an answer choice that correctly refers to perpetrators. Choices A, C, and E can be eliminated alone on the modifier basis. Choice D has the idiom issue. Choice B correctly and clearly conveys the logical intended meaning of the sentence.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their [#permalink]

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01 May 2005, 16:14
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I wanted to pour in my explaination for this question just to consolidate in my mind:

Idiom Usage:
1. One attributes X, an effect, to Y, a cause
2. X (an effect) is attributed to Y.

(D) : wrong Idiom usage
(E) : wrong Idiom usage
(C): Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients' misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested, but in attributing behavior that is criminal or delinquent to an allergy to some food, the perpeptrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.

Now lets see Independent sentence starting with but:
in attributing behavior that is criminal or delinquent to an allergy to some food, the perpeptrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions

"in attributing..." : Prepositional Phrase is modifying immediate Noun i.e. Perpetrators and thus conveying wrong meaning. So, this choice is wrong.

(A): wrong : same as (C).
(B): Correct of the lot.

However, it is quite confusing/awkward to use "but" alongwith "if".

What do you guys think?

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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their [#permalink]

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18 Jul 2010, 13:23
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I also got the OA wrong. However, after reading the sentence several times I think I understood what the it is trying to say.

Lets break the sentence in 2 parts.

Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested.

If criminal or delinquent behavior is attributed to an allergy to some food then the perpetrators [culprits] are told that they are not responsible for their actions.

Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested, but in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy, the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.

(A) in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy --> this modifier should modify 'attorneys' not 'perpetrators'
(B) if criminal or delinquent behavior is attributed to an allergy to some food --> this is saying that if criminal behavior is attributed to an allergy to some food then the culprits are told that they are not responsible for their actions. Also, 'attributed to' is the correct idiom.
(C) in attributing behavior that is criminal or delinquent to an allergy to some food --> same as A
(D) if some food allergy is attributed as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior --> wrong idiom
(E) in attributing a food allergy as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior --> same as A

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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their [#permalink]

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02 Jun 2008, 11:00
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to add to walker's explanation, "Attributed To" is the correct idiom here.

also the choices starting with "in attributing.." make it sound like the perpetrators are doing the "attributing"

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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their [#permalink]

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06 Apr 2012, 12:18
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Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested, but in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy, the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.

(A) in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy,
(B) if criminal or delinquent behavior is attributed to an allergy to some food,
(C) in attributing behavior that is criminal or delinquent to an allergy to some food,
(D) if some food allergy is attributed as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior,
(E) in attributing a food allergy as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior

There is a modifier issue in the the original sentence. ". . . but in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy, the perpetrators are in effect . . ."

That part right there suggests that it's the perpetrators who are doing the "attributing," when really its the defense attorneys that attribute the behavior to food allergies. SO knowing that, you can eliminate all the choice with the inappropriate modifier (choices A, C, and E). That leaves B and D. D is incorrect because the proper structure when using "attribute" is "attribute X to Y," but D does "attribute X as Y"

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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2004, 18:25
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by attributing, not in attributing, so (A), (C), (E) are out.

(D) is out, food allergy is attributed to be the cause, not as the cause
(B) for me.

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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their [#permalink]

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05 Jan 2011, 02:10
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This is primarily an issue of mis-modification and then that of the idiom ‘attributed to’ or ‘attributed as’

The mis-modification relates to who or what the modifier phrase ‘in attributing criminal or
delinquent behavior to some food allergy’
is modifying- the perpetrators or the defence attorneys? - Please note that 'the perpetrators' is not underlined and it is the attorneys who are attributing. So any choice that has the modifier ‘in attributing x to’ perpetrators is logically wrong. So A, C and E are gone at first sight.

Between B and D, which use a passive voice construction to circumvent the modification problem, B is better because it uses the correct idiom 'attributed to' rather than the unidiomatic 'attributed as'
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their [#permalink]

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11 Mar 2011, 01:25
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This is in fact a test of modification and idiom. The modifier phrase starting with 'in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy' wrongly modifies the perpetrators, while it should modify the defense attorneys. So let us remove any choice having the ‘in attributing' modifier. A, C and E are out in one stroke.
Between B and D, D faults on idiom. 'Attributed as' is wrong. B uses attributed to and is the right choice
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2004, 06:55
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I believe it's B

A,C,D are all wrong because they use "in attributing" without specifying WHO is attributing

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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2008, 20:31
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greenoak wrote:
I think I met this SC… And I didn’t like it.

The key is to understand WHO exactly is attributing criminal behaviour to food allergy. And it is NOT the perpetrators themselves, but the attorneys. That’s why A, C, E are wrong.
To choose from B and D, I think, you need to recall the usage of idiom - because it is not the modifier error that marks the incorrect option in case of B and D (IMO, of course):

<Effect> is attributed to <Cause>
<criminal behaviour> is attributed to <allergy>

This leaves us with B.

Quote:
Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients' misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested, but in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy, the perpetrators are in effect told that they are notresponsible for their actions.

A. in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy

B. if criminal or delinquent behavior is attributedto an allergy to some food

C. in attributing behavior that is criminal ordelinquent to an allergy to some food

D. if some food allergy is attributed as the cause ofcriminal or delinquent behavior

E. in attributing a food allergy as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior

The highlighted statement is correct and in options A,C , E its NOT perpetrators but only attorneys who attribute.If we look at the A,C and E.. its said perpetrators are in effect told
This is in passive and indicates that they are told by attorneys .I belive we cannot remove (a,c,e) on this basis
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their [#permalink]

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01 Sep 2011, 10:35
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Quote:
Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested, but in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy, the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.
(A) in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy
(B) if criminal or delinquent behavior is attributed to an allergy to some food
(C) in attributing behavior that is criminal or delinquent to an allergy to some food
(D) if some food allergy is attributed as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior
(E) in attributing a food allergy as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior

Idiom - it should be 'but by attributing' instead of 'but in attributing' ---> eliminates A, C and E
Idiom - 'attributed to' and not 'attributed as' ---> eliminates D
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their [#permalink]

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27 Apr 2012, 20:15
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Can you suggest some fast track, screened questions that would boost the SC score in a couple of weeks?

egmat wrote:
Hi Shikhar,

Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested, but in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy, the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.

In the underlined portion of the sentence, the verb-ing modifier “in attributing…” is modifying the subject of the following clause which is “the perpetrators”. This suggests that the perpetrators perform the action of “attributing” which is illogical.
Let’s take simple examples to see how this modifier is functioning.

Reading from the red book, grandmother put the children to sleep.

Here, the verb-ing modifier is “reading”. So, who did the action of reading? Grandmother. Since “grandmother” is the subject of the following clause, modifier “reading” is correctly modifying “grandmother”.

Reading the book, the children were out to sleep by grandmother.

This sentence is not correct because the subject of the clause is now “the children” and they certainly did not do the action of “reading”.

In the same way, “perpetrators” did not do the action of “attributing” the criminal behavior. They are the ones who showed criminal behavior. Now, the “perpetrators” falls in the non-underlined portion of the sentence. Hence we must choose an answer choice that correctly refers to perpetrators. Choices A, C, and E can be eliminated alone on the modifier basis. Choice D has the idiom issue. Choice B correctly and clearly conveys the logical intended meaning of the sentence.

Hope this helps.
Thanks

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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2012, 13:51
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@maybeam

The defense attorneys are attributing bad behavior to a food allergy. Logically, the perpetrators are not attributing bad behavior. Therefore A, C and E are out!

The underlined portion of the sentence is modifying something AFTER itself, because this modifier is after the word "but." This modifier is part of the second half of the sentence.

Secondly, the sentence is about attorneys attributing bad behavoir, not attribuiting food allergies. So D is also out! Leaving B as the correct answer.
Defense attorneys have argued that misconduct stemmed from...., but if behavior is attributed to ....., the perpetrators are told that they are not responsible for ...

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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2012, 14:22
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After eliminating A,C and E for mismodification, between B and D, D can be straight away dropped D for using the wrong idiom attribute as, while B triumphs because of using the correct idiom attribute to
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2012, 17:33
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Expert's post
We can quickly eliminate (A), (C), and (E). Each attributes the 'attributing' to the perpetrators. However, it is the defense attorneys who do the 'attributing.' You attribute something 'to'. Just like that we arrive at answer (B).

(A) in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy
(B) if criminal or delinquent behavior is attributed to an allergy to some food
(C) in attributing behavior that is criminal or delinquent to an allergy to some food
(D) if some food allergy is attributed as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior
(E) in attributing a food allergy as the cause of criminal or delinquent behavior
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2013, 04:46
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Sorry to have missed that out.. I've edited the above post..
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their [#permalink]

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09 Jan 2015, 07:29
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This is one of the good Questions that i have came across.
We have a coordinating conjunction "but" here.
A modifier after 'but' implies modifier is working on second part of the sentence.
From the first part it is clear that Defense Attorneys are attributing something.
But from the underlined modifier "in attributing.............. , the perpetrators ............. " , the modifier is referring to perpetrators .
Hence A,C,E ----wrong
Correct idiom is "attribute X to Y"
Hence B;

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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2015, 12:03
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cg0588 wrote:
How is the modifier in A and C modifying perpetrators? IMO, it seems to modify attorney...

Hi cg0588,
the modifier "in attributing ... ", is modifying the subject of the clause it is modifying. Notice that there are two independent clause here in the form "A, but B" as follows:

Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their clients’ misconduct stemmed from a reaction to something ingested
, but in attributing criminal or delinquent behavior to some food allergy, the perpetrators are in effect told that they are not responsible for their actions.

The independent clauses are marked and there are joined using independent clause marker comma+but. The modifier "in attributing ..." cannot jump over comma+but and modify the previous clause.

Hope it is clear.
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Re: Defense attorneys have occasionally argued that their   [#permalink] 03 Sep 2015, 12:03

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