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Two seismic shocks experienced in the United States of America in the

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New post Updated on: 26 May 2019, 19:51
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A
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Two seismic shocks experienced in the United States of America in the early 21st century affected the entire world in the subsequent years—the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis, which raised questions about income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization.

A. which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the

B. the long-drawn wars led in the eastern hemisphere, commencement of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and the

C. leading to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the

D. led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere and commenced the collapse of Lehman Brothers and

E. which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the


generis

Originally posted by akash7gupta11 on 26 May 2019, 19:35.
Last edited by akash7gupta11 on 26 May 2019, 19:51, edited 3 times in total.
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New post 26 May 2019, 19:49
Hi akash7gupta11 , it's important to add an official answer.

If you do not have an OA, please say so in the post and tag me or GMATNinja so that one of us can add the OA.
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New post 26 May 2019, 20:41
The non-essential (?) modifier "commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers" seems to modify "the global financial crisis" piece, which is parallel to "global wars", but it looks very unnatural in the sentence.

Is it a good quality question?
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New post 26 May 2019, 20:51
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Can you post official explanation for the answer?
I think something is missing in the options given
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New post 26 May 2019, 23:08
mykrasovski wrote:
The non-essential (?) modifier "commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers" seems to modify "the global financial crisis" piece, which is parallel to "global wars", but it looks very unnatural in the sentence.

Is it a good quality question?


akash7gupta11 , would you please check to see whether you have transcribed the question correctly? (I make typos all the time).
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New post 27 May 2019, 05:14
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Two seismic shocks experienced in the United States of America in the early 21st century affected the entire world in the subsequent years—the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis, which raised questions about income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization.

A. which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the --> correct

B. the long-drawn wars led in the eastern hemisphere, commencement of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and the --> "the terrorist attacks" should be modified by which: "Two seismic shocks" : (1) the terrorist attacks, which led, and (2) the global financial crisis, which raised

C. leading to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the --> same as B

D. led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere and commenced the collapse of Lehman Brothers and --> same as B

E. which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the --> conjunction (and) is missing between (1) the terrorist attacks and (2) the global financial crisis
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New post 27 May 2019, 07:57
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generis wrote:
mykrasovski wrote:
The non-essential (?) modifier "commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers" seems to modify "the global financial crisis" piece, which is parallel to "global wars", but it looks very unnatural in the sentence.

Is it a good quality question?

I agree with globaldesi - something seems to be missing.

At the moment the only feasible answer is
D.

Commas go after dates, although there's a weird rule about one kind of date that I don't recall.

akash7gupta11 , would you please check to see whether you have transcribed the question correctly? (I make typos all the time). If this question is from egmat, A is not the answer.




Hi Generis,

The answer indeed seems to be A, not D as I initially thought.

The dash is supposed to give us the examples of two seismic shocks: (1) terrorist attacks and (2) the global financial crisis

Thus the initial skeleton of the sentence looks like as below:

Two seismic shocks affected the entire world - terrorist attacks and the global financial crisis

Later both examples got described by modifiers:

What kind of terrorist attacks? The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere (tells about the date and consequences of the attack)

What kind of global financial crisis? Commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis (tells about how the crisis commenced, it commenced with collapse of LB)

Thus: Two seismic shocks - the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis, which raised questions about income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization.

D is incorrect because it incorrectly implies that the terrorist attacks commenced the collapse of the LB and the global financial crisis.

Your thoughts on my post will be appreciated :)
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New post 27 May 2019, 09:30
ShukhratJon wrote:
Hi Generis,

The answer indeed seems to be A, not D as I initially thought.

The dash is supposed to give us the examples of two seismic shocks: (1) terrorist attacks and (2) the global financial crisis

Thus the initial skeleton of the sentence looks like as below:

Two seismic shocks affected the entire world - terrorist attacks and the global financial crisis

Later both examples got described by modifiers:

What kind of terrorist attacks? The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere (tells about the date and consequences of the attack)

What kind of global financial crisis? Commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis (tells about how the crisis commenced, it commenced with collapse of LB)

Thus: Two seismic shocks - the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis, which raised questions about income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization.

D is incorrect because it incorrectly implies that the terrorist attacks commenced the collapse of the LB and the global financial crisis.

Your thoughts on my post will be appreciated :)

ShukhratJon - nicely done! +1
You nailed it. Good timing. I just finished a post in which, after sleep and coffee, I explained answer A using somewhat similar analysis, though you seem more comfortable than I am about modifiers that do not resemble one another.

You untangled the post em dash material with precision, locating the two examples of "seismic shocks" and their respective modifying phrases.

This part of your analysis is especially helpful:
Quote:
What kind of global financial crisis? Commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis (tells about how the crisis commenced, it commenced with collapse of LB)


The "commencing" phrase that precedes "the global financial crisis" seems to come out of nowhere. You made it clear. You also made it appear normal.

ShukhratJon , is your position that adjectivial modifiers of any sort render the elements parallel? (I think so. I'm checking.)

I absolutely agree that of these five choices, (A) is the best. But stretching parallelism to include the mere fact of two adjectivial modifiers irrespective of structure is too much of a stretch for me.

That stretch seems to be the only way to support parallelism. I do not recall any official question in which two parallel elements had such radically different modifier forms. (Then again, every OG that is published contains at least one surprise.)

Again, your analysis is excellent. Just as valuable is your strategic position: the other four answers make no sense. Answer (A) makes quite a bit of sense even if not perfectly. Mark (A) and move along. That approach will take you far in SC. :)
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New post 27 May 2019, 09:31
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akash7gupta11 wrote:
Two seismic shocks experienced in the United States of America in the early 21st century affected the entire world in the subsequent years—the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis, which raised questions about income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization.

A. which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the
B. the long-drawn wars led in the eastern hemisphere, commencement of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and the
C. leading to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the
D. led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere and commenced the collapse of Lehman Brothers and
E. which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the
generis

EDIT, thanks to @ShukhratJon and Asad , +1 to both

As ShukhratJon noted, the core of the sentence is

Two seismic shocks affected the entire world—the terrorist attacks and the global financial crisis.

The punctuation and phrasing in this sentence are brutal.
A bit of sleep and coffee help. :)
Clearly I needed more coffee. And more sleep.

• REWRITE of stripped sentence.

Blue = keep for sure
Pink = WTH

Two seismic shocks experienced in the U.S. United States of America in the early 21st century affected the entire world in the subsequent years —the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers,[???] the global financial crisis , which raised questions about income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization.

The final stripped sentence is
Two seismic shocks in the U.S. affected the entire world—the terrorist attacks, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis.

• Option A is the best of five, but parallelism seems problematic

Given these five choices, (A) is the best answer but I do not believe it is parallel

• Parallelism: find what lies to the right of the marker AND

Look to the right of AND for the Y element.
Whatever is present in Y must be present in X.

(The other way around is not always the case. That is, X can have some elements that Y does not if we are using ellipsis or substitution or both.

On the RHS of AND we have
Y = commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis [which raised questions about income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization.]

Because this is the right side of the comparison, we had better find a similar structure on the LHS.
On the LHS of AND we have

X = the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, [which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere,]
This situation is not looking good.

• Strike the which-clauses from both the X and Y elements

We can strike the final which-clauses, which led to and which raised questions about.
They are, ironically, parallel. Neither is essential.

Now, RHS and LHS are

Y = commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis

X = the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001

• What to do with commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers?

What do we say about commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers?
The X element has no strict counterpart.
I have serious doubts about parallelism here.

I have no idea what theory or approach makes
-- a Y element whose noun includes pre-modification by a participial phrase
parallel with
-- an X element whose noun has no such pre-modification.

Pre-modification by a participial phrase just means that the commencing . . . modifier of the global financial crisis comes before the noun.
The X element has no verbING modifier before it.

Apparently the theory is that the prepositional phrase "on September 11, 2011" is an adjectivial phrase that modifies attacks,
and similarly, that the "commencing with" phrase is also an adjectivial phrase that modifies "crisis," albeit beforehand.

If that is the theory, I find it strange. [EDIT: No, the theory not strange. The prose is strange and jarring, qualities that these sentences sometimes possess.)
I do not buy the theory, although perhaps I should.

EDIT: I should have bought the theory. The logic of each adjectivial modifier is clean, as is the logic of the whole sentence. The sentence is structurally sound but would not make it out my editing door.

Answer A is the best.

I am happy to stand corrected on my doubts about parallelism.
These sentences are hella hard to write. Try writing just one.
At the same time, we do not want to get too clever by half.

I am tagging GMATNinja , GMATNinjaTwo , MartyTargetTestPrep , DmitryFarber , and egmat in order to ask: am I missing something about parallelism in this instance?
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New post 27 May 2019, 11:00
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Could you tell me what the "which" (i am talking about the first "which") modifies here?
Also, better if you explain how the COMMA is being used before AND?
Can you introduce the part commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers. What does this part do here? I mean: "which led to X and Y. Here, and is the parallel marker. Do you think that commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers helps to make the parallel between X and Y?
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New post 27 May 2019, 17:59
generis
In the following structure,

prepositional phrase, which...
In which cases can "which" refer to either of the portion of the prepositional phrase?
I am aware that the following could
of
on *in this case
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New post 27 May 2019, 20:29
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akash7gupta11 wrote:
generis
In the following structure,

prepositional phrase, which...
In which cases can "which" refer to either of the portion of the prepositional phrase?
I am aware that the following could
of
on *in this case

akash7gupta11 , yes. which can modify both the main noun or a noun that is the object of a preposition following the main noun.
X of Y, which
A of B, which

which is a noun modifier. Although noun modifiers can be slightly far away from the noun they modify, the preference is for the noun modifier and the noun to be close together.

which can modify the object of a prepositional phrase, this way:
I needed another ounce of bergamot oil, which was difficult to find even in specialty cooking stores.
Logically, which modifies "bergamot oil," not ounce. The oil is hard to find, not an ounce.

which can modify the "main" noun, this way:
Facial creams from Korea, which have a cult following, are expensive.
In this case which modifies creams; an essential modifier can come between the (nonessential) modifier (which) and the noun (creams).
The essential modifier (from Korea) "trumps" which, so which "reaches back" over the preposition to get to its noun.

Hope that helps. :)
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New post 27 May 2019, 21:28
Quote:
Two seismic shocks experienced in the United States of America in the early 21st century affected the entire world in the subsequent years—the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis, which raised questions about income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization.

Asad wrote:
generis
Could you tell me what the "which" (i am talking about the first "which") modifies here?

Hi Asad , the first which modifies "attacks."

The core of the "touch" rule is that noun modifiers should be as close as possible to the nouns they modify.

One big exception to the touch rule is that an essential modifier such as on September 11, 2001 trumps the non-essential modifier, which.
which is allowed to "reach back" over the preposition to get to the main noun, attacks
Quote:
Also, better if you explain how the COMMA is being used before AND?

The comma before AND is used because a nonessential which-clause in the middle of a sentence must be offset by TWO commas. That requirement results in the placement of a comma before AND.

The (—) EM DASH introduces a long appositive modifier.
-- What were the two "seismic shocks"? Terrorist attacks and global financial crisis.
-- Normally we do not insert a comma before AND in a list of just two things connected by AND.

You may be asking whether the COMMA + AND is "trying" to join to independent clauses (no)
or whether a third element in a list is missing (no).

Suppose that I took out the maddening phrase "commencing with the collapse of LB."
I would still need a comma because a which-clause that falls mid-sentence requires two commas, this way:
terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and the global financial crisis, which raised questions about income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization.

The nonessential which-clause that must be set off by two commas creates an unavoidable comma before AND.
Quote:
Can you introduce the part commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

I edited my post, HERE; I included discussion of the commencing phrase. I'll use a shortened version of the sentence as I did in my post.
Two seismic shocks in the U.S. affected the rest of the world—
terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001,
AND
commencing with the collapse of Lehman brothers, the global financial crisis . . .

The commencing phrase describes the global financial crisis. That crisis started with the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
Quote:
Do you think that commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers helps to make the parallel between X and Y?

No. In the post to which I linked, I addressed what I think is a lack of parallelism.

Your questions and instincts are very good. Thanks for waking me up. :)
(Had you not asked what you did, I would not have caught a mistake that I fixed.)

I hope that helps. :)
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New post 28 May 2019, 02:02
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generis wrote:
akash7gupta11 wrote:
Two seismic shocks experienced in the United States of America in the early 21st century affected the entire world in the subsequent years—the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis, which raised questions about income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization.

A. which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the
B. the long-drawn wars led in the eastern hemisphere, commencement of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and the
C. leading to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the
D. led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere and commenced the collapse of Lehman Brothers and
E. which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the
generis

EDIT, thanks to @ShukhratJon and Asad , +1 to both

As ShukhratJon noted, the core of the sentence is

Two seismic shocks that affected the entire world—the terrorist attacks and the global financial crisis.

The punctuation and phrasing in this sentence are brutal.
A bit of sleep and coffee help. :)
Clearly I needed more coffee. And more sleep.

• REWRITE of stripped sentence.

Blue = keep for sure
Pink = WTH

Two seismic shocks experienced in the U.S. United States of America in the early 21st century affected the entire world in the subsequent years —the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers,[???] the global financial crisis , which raised questions about income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization.

The final stripped sentence is
Two seismic shocks in the U.S. affected the entire world—the terrorist attacks, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis.

• A rough diagram of material after the em dash (—)

the terrorist attacks
---of September 11, 2001,
-----which led to
---------long-drawn wars
--------------in the eastern hemisphere,
AND
[??]COMMENCING with the collapse of Lehman Brothers,
the global financial crisis,
------which raised questions about
--------------income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization.

• Option A is the best of five, but parallelism seems problematic

Given these five choices, (A) is the best answer but
-- I do not believe it is parallel, AND
-- in order to defend parallelism, albeit weakly, the "commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers" needs a comma before commencing

• Parallelism: find what lies to the right of the marker AND

Look to the right of AND for the Y element.
Whatever is present in Y must be present in X.

(The other way around is not always the case. That is, X can have some elements that Y does not if we are using ellipsis or substitution or both.

On the RHS of AND we have
Y = commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis [which raised questions about income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization.]

Because this is the right side of the comparison, we had better find a similar structure on the LHS.
On the LHS of AND we have

X = the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, [which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere,]
This situation is not looking good.

• Strike the which-clauses from both the X and Y elements

We can strike the final which-clauses, which led to and which raised questions about.
They are, ironically, parallel. Neither is essential.

Now, RHS and LHS are

Y = commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis

X = the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001

• What to do with commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers?

What do we say about commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers?
The X element has no counterpart.
I think that the phrase ruins parallelism.

I have no idea what theory or approach makes
-- a Y element whose noun includes pre-modification by a participial phrase
parallel with
-- an X element whose noun has no such pre-modification.

Pre-modification by a participial phrase just means that the commencing . . . modifier of the global financial crisis comes before the noun.
The X element has no verbING modifier before it.

Maybe the theory is that the prepositional phrase "on September 11, 2011" is an adjectivial phrase that modifies attacks,
and similarly (?), that the "commencing with" phrase is also an adjectivial phrase that modifies "crisis," albeit beforehand.

If that is the theory, I find it strange. And I do not buy it, although perhaps I should.
Structurally, a participial phrase that comes before the noun seems fundamentally different from a prepositional phrase that comes after the noun.
I do not recall any official question in which the modifying phrases of two parallel elements were this far apart in structure.

Although I believe that this sentence lacks parallelism because "commencing with . . ." is present, Answer A is still the best.

I am happy to stand corrected on the parallelism issue.
These sentences are hella hard to write. Try writing just one.
At the same time, we do not want to get too clever by half.

I am tagging GMATNinja , GMATNinjaTwo , MartyTargetTestPrep , DmitryFarber , and egmat in order to ask: am I missing something about parallelism in this instance?

I'm assuming the core is:
Two seismic shocks experienced in the United States of America in the early 21st century affected the entire world in the subsequent years—the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis, which raised questions about income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization.
Stripped part:
Two seismic shocks affected the entire world —the terrorist attacks [b]and the global financial crisis.[/b]
This is pure and simple!
But, the problem is the use of the and here. I don't know how the egmat will provide an and here. :)

which raised questions about income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization part modifies the global financial crisis.
which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers simultaneously modify the terrorist attacks.
If this two parts simultaneously modify the terrorist attacks, then you have to take out COMMA, which is being used after hemisphere. And we need an and before the global financial crisis
You said:
commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers modifies the global financial crisis. Does it make sense? If it happens then there should have a verb after financial crisis (raised is NOT a direct verb for global financial crisis; it's just modifier parts!). Also, if it happens then this part (commencing .......>globalization) will take a new position itself (which will NOT be the part of Two seismic shocks)!
Quote:
Two seismic shocks experienced in the United States of America in the early 21st century affected the entire world in the subsequent years—the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis, which raised questions about income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization.
But.......
If the and is the part of the global financial crisis , then there is nothing to do with commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, I guess!
jennpt and AjiteshArun
Could you participate yourself, please?
This question is from egmat. So egmat should show his/her position.
Thanks__
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Re: Two seismic shocks experienced in the United States of America in the  [#permalink]

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New post 28 May 2019, 02:21
generis wrote:
akash7gupta11 wrote:
Two seismic shocks experienced in the United States of America in the early 21st century affected the entire world in the subsequent years—the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis, which raised questions about income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization.

A. which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the
B. the long-drawn wars led in the eastern hemisphere, commencement of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and the
C. leading to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the
D. led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere and commenced the collapse of Lehman Brothers and
E. which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the
generis

EDIT, thanks to @ShukhratJon and Asad , +1 to both

As ShukhratJon noted, the core of the sentence is

Two seismic shocks that affected the entire world—the terrorist attacks and the global financial crisis.

The punctuation and phrasing in this sentence are brutal.
A bit of sleep and coffee help. :)
Clearly I needed more coffee. And more sleep.

• REWRITE of stripped sentence.

Blue = keep for sure
Pink = WTH

Two seismic shocks experienced in the U.S. United States of America in the early 21st century affected the entire world in the subsequent years —the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers,[???] the global financial crisis , which raised questions about income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization.

The final stripped sentence is
Two seismic shocks in the U.S. affected the entire world—the terrorist attacks, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis.

• A rough diagram of material after the em dash (—)

the terrorist attacks
---of September 11, 2001,
-----which led to
---------long-drawn wars
--------------in the eastern hemisphere,
AND
[??]COMMENCING with the collapse of Lehman Brothers,
the global financial crisis,
------which raised questions about
--------------income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization.

• Option A is the best of five, but parallelism seems problematic

Given these five choices, (A) is the best answer but
-- I do not believe it is parallel, AND
-- in order to defend parallelism, albeit weakly, the "commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers" needs a comma before commencing

• Parallelism: find what lies to the right of the marker AND

Look to the right of AND for the Y element.
Whatever is present in Y must be present in X.

(The other way around is not always the case. That is, X can have some elements that Y does not if we are using ellipsis or substitution or both.

On the RHS of AND we have
Y = commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis [which raised questions about income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization.]

Because this is the right side of the comparison, we had better find a similar structure on the LHS.
On the LHS of AND we have

X = the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, [which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere,]
This situation is not looking good.


• Strike the which-clauses from both the X and Y elements

We can strike the final which-clauses, which led to and which raised questions about.
They are, ironically, parallel. Neither is essential.

Now, RHS and LHS are

Y = commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis

X = the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001

• What to do with commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers?

What do we say about commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers?
The X element has no counterpart.
I think that the phrase ruins parallelism.

I have no idea what theory or approach makes
-- a Y element whose noun includes pre-modification by a participial phrase
parallel with
-- an X element whose noun has no such pre-modification.

Pre-modification by a participial phrase just means that the commencing . . . modifier of the global financial crisis comes before the noun.
The X element has no verbING modifier before it.

Maybe the theory is that the prepositional phrase "on September 11, 2011" is an adjectivial phrase that modifies attacks,
and similarly (?), that the "commencing with" phrase is also an adjectivial phrase that modifies "crisis," albeit beforehand.

If that is the theory, I find it strange. And I do not buy it, although perhaps I should.
Structurally, a participial phrase that comes before the noun seems fundamentally different from a prepositional phrase that comes after the noun.
I do not recall any official question in which the modifying phrases of two parallel elements were this far apart in structure.

Although I believe that this sentence lacks parallelism because "commencing with . . ." is present, Answer A is still the best.

I am happy to stand corrected on the parallelism issue.
These sentences are hella hard to write. Try writing just one.
At the same time, we do not want to get too clever by half.

I am tagging GMATNinja , GMATNinjaTwo , MartyTargetTestPrep , DmitryFarber , and egmat in order to ask: am I missing something about parallelism in this instance?

generis
I'm talking about the highlighted part only, at least here.
IF commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers is the part of Y, then you're just going to introduce it as one shocks of "Two seismic shocks', right? Does it make sense?
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Re: Two seismic shocks experienced in the United States of America in the  [#permalink]

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New post 28 May 2019, 02:48
generis wrote:
• REWRITE of stripped sentence.

Blue = keep for sure
Pink = WTH

Two seismic shocks experienced in the U.S. United States of America in the early 21st century affected the entire world in the subsequent years —the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers,[???] the global financial crisis , which raised questions about income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization.

The final stripped sentence is
Two seismic shocks in the U.S. affected the entire world—the terrorist attacks, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis.

What the highlighted part does here?
It does not make sense anymore to me!
Let,
commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers is a modifier (according to you).
How do you remove this modifier from the final stripped part? We CAN'T use just ONE COMMA if the modifier is used in the middle of the sentence! There is a COMMA after "Lehman Brothers", but how do you get ANOTHER COMMA. If you think that commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers is the initial modifier then there is NO need another COMMA.
Ok. If commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers is the initial modifier of "the global financial crisis", then there is NO consistent between "the terrorist attacks" and "the global financial crisis". I mean: "the global financial crisis" WON'T be the part of "Two seismic shocks".
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Two seismic shocks experienced in the United States of America in the  [#permalink]

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New post 28 May 2019, 04:21
generis wrote:
ShukhratJon wrote:
Hi Generis,

The answer indeed seems to be A, not D as I initially thought.

The dash is supposed to give us the examples of two seismic shocks: (1) terrorist attacks and (2) the global financial crisis

Thus the initial skeleton of the sentence looks like as below:

Two seismic shocks affected the entire world - terrorist attacks and the global financial crisis

Later both examples got described by modifiers:

What kind of terrorist attacks? The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere (tells about the date and consequences of the attack)

What kind of global financial crisis? Commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis (tells about how the crisis commenced, it commenced with collapse of LB)

Thus: Two seismic shocks - the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis, which raised questions about income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization.

D is incorrect because it incorrectly implies that the terrorist attacks commenced the collapse of the LB and the global financial crisis.

Your thoughts on my post will be appreciated :)

ShukhratJon - nicely done! +1
You nailed it. Good timing. I just finished a post in which, after sleep and coffee, I explained answer A using somewhat similar analysis, though you seem more comfortable than I am about modifiers that do not resemble one another.

You untangled the post em dash material with precision, locating the two examples of "seismic shocks" and their respective modifying phrases.

This part of your analysis is especially helpful:
Quote:
What kind of global financial crisis? Commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis (tells about how the crisis commenced, it commenced with collapse of LB)


The "commencing" phrase that precedes "the global financial crisis" seems to come out of nowhere. You made it clear. You also made it appear normal.

ShukhratJon , is your position that adjectivial modifiers of any sort render the elements parallel? (I think so. I'm checking.)

I absolutely agree that of these five choices, (A) is the best. But stretching parallelism to include the mere fact of two adjectivial modifiers irrespective of structure is too much of a stretch for me.

That stretch seems to be the only way to support parallelism. I do not recall any official question in which two parallel elements had such radically different modifier forms. (Then again, every OG that is published contains at least one surprise.)

Again, your analysis is excellent. Just as valuable is your strategic position: the other four answers make no sense. Answer (A) makes quite a bit of sense even if not perfectly. Mark (A) and move along. That approach will take you far in SC. :)



Hi Generis,

Thank you very much for your insightful comment. Yes, my timing was one-fifth of the overall time given for the whole verbal section :-D Please, let me share Ron’s thoughts on modifiers because I always find them quite helpful: “Make sure you don't think that parallel structures have to look exactly like each other all the time. That may be the ideal situation, sure - but, if it were an absolute requirement, it would become extremely difficult or even impossible to express many mundane ideas.” An example from OG:

Individuals who have been blind from birth make hand motions just as frequently and in virtually the same way as sighted people do.

Here just as frequently and in virtually the same way don’t look each other, but they both describe the same action. That is, both of them function as adverbs. Therefore, they are parallel. Similar example from GMAT Prep:

Dogs are being bred for looks or to meet other narrow criteria.

Ron: “There's no real way to express for looks as an infinitive without either (a) losing the intended meaning or (b) using a TON of words. You clearly can't express to meet ... criteria in the form for NOUN.”

My wife and I argue just as often and about the same things as the couple next door. (Ron’s example)

Ron: “This is a correct sentence. (It happens to work a lot like #46 in the OG 11 diagnostic section). If you believe in the idea that parallel structures must look exactly like each other at all times, then this sentence becomes impossible to write.”

In our case parallel structures are:

the terrorist attacks + modifier, modifier and modifier + the global financial crisis + modifier

All modifiers are adjectival modifiers and they are, probably, placed differently in order to make the sentence as effective as possible. I mean that delivering the same idea without using pre-modification commencing with may lead to less desired consequences as in a similar problem from OG:

Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called proton-induced x-ray emission, which can quickly analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it, is finding uses in medicine, archaeology, and criminology.

This answer choice also has exactly the same participle-modifier + noun + which-modifier structure and it is preferred to other answer choices for its effectiveness and conciseness. Let me also share my thoughts on the comma before commencing with. We want to connect two nouns with their modifiers:

1. the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001

and

2. commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis

= terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis

I don’t see any reason for comma before commencing with. Am I missing someting?
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Examples are taken from:
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/foru ... 35-15.html
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/foru ... t5508.html
https://gmatclub.com/forum/researchers- ... 67554.html
https://gmatclub.com/forum/according-to ... 22776.html
https://gmatclub.com/forum/originally-d ... 84734.html
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New post 28 May 2019, 07:20
Asad wrote:
generis wrote:
• REWRITE of stripped sentence.

Blue = keep for sure
Pink = WTH

Two seismic shocks experienced in the U.S. United States of America in the early 21st century affected the entire world in the subsequent years —the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers,[???] the global financial crisis , which raised questions about income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization.

The final stripped sentence is
Two seismic shocks in the U.S. affected the entire world—the terrorist attacks, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis.

What the highlighted part does here?
It does not make sense anymore to me!
Let,
commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers is a modifier (according to you).
How do you remove this modifier from the final stripped part? We CAN'T use just ONE COMMA if the modifier is used in the middle of the sentence! There is a COMMA after "Lehman Brothers", but how do you get ANOTHER COMMA. If you think that commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers is the initial modifier then there is NO need another COMMA.
Ok. If commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers is the initial modifier of "the global financial crisis", then there is NO consistent between "the terrorist attacks" and "the global financial crisis". I mean: "the global financial crisis" WON'T be the part of "Two seismic shocks".



Hi Asad,

Your question seems to be tough and indeed needs experts’ reply. However, let me take the shot. Similarly, your comments on my post will be appreciated.

Why does someone need to write such an intricate sentence, or what privileges it may give to its writer? That is how I see the way this beautiful sentence was created: Let’s assume that we are writing to our friend about two seismic shocks the U.S. experienced – the first one is the terrorist attacks and the second one is the global financial crisis. Initially our sentence would probably look like:

Two seismic shocks in the U.S. affected the entire world. First shock was the terrorist attacks and the second one was the global financial crisis.

However, for the sake of conciseness and effectiveness we can conflate these two sentences with the help of dash:

Two seismic shocks in the U.S. affected the entire world – the terrorist attacks and the global financial crisis.

Next, we need to give additional description so that our reader can figure out which terrorist attacks and global financial crisis we are writing about:

- The terrorist attacks took place on September 11, 2001
- The terrorist attacks led to the long-drawn wars
- The global financial crisis commenced with the collapse of LB
- The global financial crisis raised questions

All those together will already be a small text out of 6 sentences, including 2 in the beginning. However, we can deliver all those descriptions with a single sentence by turning them into modifiers as in the following problem from OG, which gives the example of a technique:

Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique called proton-induced x-ray emission, which can quickly analyze the chemical elements in almost any substance without destroying it...

- A technique was called proton...
- A technique was originally developed...
- A technique can quickly analyze

All those descriptions were combined into a single sentence by turning into modifiers. We also can do the same thing with our descriptions:

A technique was called proton... --> a technique called proton... (type of essential modifier trumping nonessential modifier which)
The terrorist attacks took place on September 11, 2001 --> terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 (similar essential modifier Generis wrote about)

A technique was originally developed... --> Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique... (participle modifier)
The global financial crisis commenced with the collapse of LB --> Commencing with the collapse of LB, the global financial crisis... (similar participle modifier)

A technique can quickly analyze... --> a technique..., which can quickly analyze...
The terrorist attacks led to the long-drawn wars --> the terrorist attacks..., which led to the long-drawn wars
The global financial crisis raised questions --> the global financial crisis, which raised questions

Results:

First example of two seismic shocks in a design similar to OG problem:

a technique called proton-induced x-ray emission, which can quickly analyze
the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere

In both cases: noun + essential modifier + nonessential modifier

Second example of two seismic shocks in a design similar to OG problem:

Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique..., which can quickly analyze...
Commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis, which raised questions...

In both cases: participle-modifier + noun + which-modifier

Finally, with the help of and we can connect two examples of seismic shocks with their respective modifiers:

Two seismic shocks — the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to..., and commencing with the collapse of LB, the global financial crisis, which raised questions...

Or: noun + essential modifier + nonessential modifier and participle-modifier + noun + which-modifier

As you see there is no any dangling or misplaced modifier since all of them correctly modifying their respective nouns, and nouns themselves are parallel.


Your comments are welcome :)
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New post 28 May 2019, 10:15
ShukhratJon
I've no idea about the following terms:
dangling or misplaced modifier; nonessential modifier and participle-modifier ; essential modifier (without basic things like Tense, modifier, parts of speech, etc). So, I can't say anything on the basis of grammar! :) . I just try to realize how the things work in a sentence.

Quote:
Originally developed for detecting air pollutants, a technique..., which can quickly analyze...
Commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis, which raised questions...

It seems that both are similar to each other, but the problem is that the first one (Originally...) has been used in the initial of a sentence (as it is an initial modifier) and the last one (commencing...) has been used in the middle of a sentence (or, in any part of a sentence but NOT in the initial of a sentence). So, it does not make sense to me for the use of initial modifier (of course if you think that the last one is the initial modifier in that specific sentence) in the wrong place of a sentence.
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Re: Two seismic shocks experienced in the United States of America in the  [#permalink]

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New post 28 May 2019, 12:29
generis wrote:
akash7gupta11 wrote:
Two seismic shocks experienced in the United States of America in the early 21st century affected the entire world in the subsequent years—the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the global financial crisis, which raised questions about income inequality, job insecurity, and globalization.

A. which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the
B. the long-drawn wars led in the eastern hemisphere, commencement of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and the
C. leading to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere and commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the
D. led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere and commenced the collapse of Lehman Brothers and
E. which led to the long-drawn wars in the eastern hemisphere, commencing with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the
generis

EDIT, thanks to @ShukhratJon and Asad , +1 to both

As ShukhratJon noted, the core of the sentence is

Two seismic shocks that affected the entire world—the terrorist attacks and the global financial crisis.

generis
^^ This one can NEVER be the core of the legit sentence at all. For being the core, you've to remove the that from the above sentence otherwise it'll be sentence fragment for sure!
So, the core should be:
Two seismic shocks that affected the entire world—the terrorist attacks and the global financial crisis.
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Re: Two seismic shocks experienced in the United States of America in the   [#permalink] 28 May 2019, 12:29

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