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# Following the destruction of the space shuttle Challenger,

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Following the destruction of the space shuttle Challenger, [#permalink]

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16 Oct 2009, 08:40
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Following the destruction of the space shuttle Challenger, investigators concluded that many key people employed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and its contractors work an excessive amount of overtime that has the potential of causing errors in judgment.

(A) overtime that has the potential of causing
(B) overtime that has the potential to cause
(C) overtime that potentially can cause
(D) overtime, a practice that has the potential for causing
(E) overtime, a practice that can, potentially, cause
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: 1000 sc - 300 [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2010, 17:25
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Hey All,

There's been plenty of good discussion on this one, but just to put it all in one place, I'm stepping in. Also, lots of people mentioned concision on this one. There is not a single concision issue here. Concision is a SHOCKINGLY rare issue on the GMAT. Only fall back on it as a last resort.

300.Following the destruction of the space shuttle Challenger, investigators concluded that many key people employed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and its contractors work an excessive amount of overtime that has the potential of causing errors in judgment.

(A) overtime that has the potential of causing
PROBLEM: The relative pronoun "that" is opening up a modifier on "overtime" which is problematic from a meaning perspective. What the sentence wants is for the modifier to modify "an excessive amount of overtime", but right now it reads as modifying "overtime". In other words, the sentence sounds like the contracts are working an excessive amount of a SPECIFIC (essential) kind of overtime, the kind that has the potential of causing errors in judgment. This is incorrect. Also, "of" is the wrong idiom with potential.

(B) overtime that has the potential to cause
PROBLEM: Same as above, though it fixed the idiom issue.

(C) overtime that potentially can cause
PROBLEM: Same as above. The adverb "potentially" is okay, though the placement is incorrect. We need to place it after "can" if we don't get any commas. Consider these examples: "He is potentially the greatest boxer of all time" is better than "He potentially is the greatest boxer of all time."

(D) overtime, a practice that has the potential for causing
PROBLEM: Now we are using an appositive modifier (modifying a noun with a noun "a practice..."), which is clearer. The "practice" is the entire phrase "work(ing) an excessive amount of overtime". Unfortunately, the idiom is correct after "potential" (should be "to").

(E) overtime, a practice that can, potentially, cause
ANSWER: People don't like picking things with too many commas. BUT COMMAS ARE GREAT! Commas are not bad or wordy. They are how we separate ideas in English. The more commas, often, the better. "potentially" is modifying "can cause", and we often set off modifiers with commas on either side.

Hope that helps!

-t
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Re: 1000 sc - 300 [#permalink]

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23 Aug 2010, 11:46
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Hey Munda,

I think the issue you're having is that a modifier should come before the thing it modifies, but this is actually the opposite of the case. Most modifiers come after. For example.

The man in the house. [in the house]
The man running from the law. [running from the law]
The dog, a purebred, is pretty. [a purebred]

See? In general, modifiers come AFTER the thing they modify. This isn't a hard and fast rule or anything (For example "By the time you read this, I'll be gone. [by the time you read this]", but it CERTAINLY doesn't make a sentence wrong if the adverbial modifier comes after the verb/adverb/adjective being modified.

-t
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Re: 1000 sc - 300 [#permalink]

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16 Oct 2009, 16:36
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IMO this is not a very good question.

In answers A, B, and C it's implied that "overtime" has the potential to cause errors, when logically it needs to be the "practice of overtime" that has the potential to cause errors.

In solution D, "causing" is not parallel to "work"

Answer E is the only solution remaining.

Some might argue that in answer E, the words "can" and "potentially" create a redundancy error. But I suppose all of the other errors are grammatical mistakes, whereas redundancy is more of a stylistic error.

HTH!
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Re: 1000 sc - 300 [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2010, 22:59
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Clearly the case of resumptive modifier. hence E and D are left. D is unidiomatic. Hence E.
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Re: 1000 sc - 300 [#permalink]

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16 Oct 2009, 20:27
GMATBootcamp wrote:
In solution D, "causing" is not parallel to "work"

I got E also, but want to know what's wrong with D.
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Re: 1000 sc - 300 [#permalink]

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20 Oct 2009, 20:52
its preferable to have verbs in the same tense.

Contractors work....this can cause

contractors working...problems causing

HTH!
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Re: 1000 sc - 300 [#permalink]

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21 Oct 2009, 03:30
'C' is wrong because it syas that 'Overtime' causes errors in the judgement. It is the practice of excessive working that causes errors in judgement.

IMO potential for is unidiomatic in D

IMO E
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Re: 1000 sc - 300 [#permalink]

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21 Oct 2009, 07:35
IMO E too.

A,b,c are out because its not overtime that causes ..... its the practice so D,E

in D, potential for is not idiomatic
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Re: 1000 sc - 300 [#permalink]

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22 Oct 2009, 09:10
IMO B is correct option.
I think by Overtime we do not need to explicitly state that it is a practice.
We are making the sentence more wordy...any comments??
pls correct me...if i ma wrong..

OA pls..
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Re: 1000 sc - 300 [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2010, 08:26
OA is E.

D is incorrect for wordiness.
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Re: 1000 sc - 300 [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2010, 03:48
TommyWallach wrote:
Hey All,

There's been plenty of good discussion on this one, but just to put it all in one place, I'm stepping in. Also, lots of people mentioned concision on this one. There is not a single concision issue here. Concision is a SHOCKINGLY rare issue on the GMAT. Only fall back on it as a last resort.

300.Following the destruction of the space shuttle Challenger, investigators concluded that many key people employed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and its contractors work an excessive amount of overtime that has the potential of causing errors in judgment.

(C) overtime that potentially can cause
PROBLEM: Same as above. The adverb "potentially" is okay, though the placement is incorrect. We need to place it after "can" if we don't get any commas. Consider these examples: "He is potentially the greatest boxer of all time" is better than "He potentially is the greatest boxer of all time."

-t

Hi tommy ,
Please Consider the sentence that you have given as an example.
In
1)"He is potentially the greatest boxer of all time" is better than
2)"He potentially is the greatest boxer of all time."
In sentence 1, potentially is an adverb and needs to modify a verb .There is no verb after potentially in sentence 1
In sentence 2 potentially modifies "is" verb
So how can sentence 1 be better than sentence 2?
I must be missing something.Tommy can you resolve this issue
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Re: 1000 sc - 300 [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2010, 13:19
thanks tommy very well explained..
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Re: 1000 sc - 300 [#permalink]

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23 Aug 2010, 13:31
but Tommy what I dnt understand is that when we say overtime, is that not sufficient? Why do I have to clarify the practice? Also in C if the potentially were to be correctly placed would you pass it?

TommyWallach wrote:
Hey All,

There's been plenty of good discussion on this one, but just to put it all in one place, I'm stepping in. Also, lots of people mentioned concision on this one. There is not a single concision issue here. Concision is a SHOCKINGLY rare issue on the GMAT. Only fall back on it as a last resort.

300.Following the destruction of the space shuttle Challenger, investigators concluded that many key people employed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and its contractors work an excessive amount of overtime that has the potential of causing errors in judgment.

(A) overtime that has the potential of causing
PROBLEM: The relative pronoun "that" is opening up a modifier on "overtime" which is problematic from a meaning perspective. What the sentence wants is for the modifier to modify "an excessive amount of overtime", but right now it reads as modifying "overtime". In other words, the sentence sounds like the contracts are working an excessive amount of a SPECIFIC (essential) kind of overtime, the kind that has the potential of causing errors in judgment. This is incorrect. Also, "of" is the wrong idiom with potential.

(B) overtime that has the potential to cause
PROBLEM: Same as above, though it fixed the idiom issue.

(C) overtime that potentially can cause
PROBLEM: Same as above. The adverb "potentially" is okay, though the placement is incorrect. We need to place it after "can" if we don't get any commas. Consider these examples: "He is potentially the greatest boxer of all time" is better than "He potentially is the greatest boxer of all time."

(D) overtime, a practice that has the potential for causing
PROBLEM: Now we are using an appositive modifier (modifying a noun with a noun "a practice..."), which is clearer. The "practice" is the entire phrase "work(ing) an excessive amount of overtime". Unfortunately, the idiom is correct after "potential" (should be "to").

(E) overtime, a practice that can, potentially, cause
ANSWER: People don't like picking things with too many commas. BUT COMMAS ARE GREAT! Commas are not bad or wordy. They are how we separate ideas in English. The more commas, often, the better. "potentially" is modifying "can cause", and we often set off modifiers with commas on either side.

Hope that helps!

-t

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Re: 1000 sc - 300 [#permalink]

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28 Aug 2010, 11:10
Hey All,

2 issues. First Mainhoon's.

The problem is that it isn't overtime on its own that is causing problems, it's the practice of WORKING AN EXCESSIVE AMOUNT of overtime. This is why we need to add the stuff about practice.

I was also asked a different question by PM, printed here:

With respect to the below sentences
1)"He is potentially the greatest boxer of all time" is better than
2)"He potentially is the greatest boxer of all time."

Can you please tell what is the adverb potentially modifying in sentence 1) and 2)

Really, it's modifying the same thing, but it's a question of how we say it. Consider an adjective use.

I have a green house.
I have a house green.

The second one is just wrong, because we don't write it that way. Technically, I suppose, it's still modifying the "house", but who cares? It's wrong. Sames goes with example 2 up above.

-t
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Re: 1000 sc - 300 [#permalink]

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04 Sep 2010, 10:44
Tommy, can potentially is not redundant?
I think I have read that in Manhattan SC...
Thanks.
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Re: 1000 sc - 300 [#permalink]

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06 Sep 2010, 12:31
Hey Noburu,

Well, I'd agree with you, but there's no better choice. Remember, any issue relating to concision/redundancy should be the ABSOLUTE LAST thing you think about on the GMAT. Those issues are always secondary to GRAMMAR and even CLARITY.

-t
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Re: 1000 sc - 300 [#permalink]

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19 Apr 2011, 23:10
Option - E is wrong
because 'can potentially' is redundant.

Refer to Q-159, OG-10
--------------------------------------

While depressed property values can hurt some large investors, they are potentially devastating for home-owners. whose equity--in many cases representing a life's savings--can plunge or even disappear.
(A) they are potentially devastating for homeowners, whose
(B) they can potentially devastate homeowners in that their
(C) for homeowners they are potentially devastating, because their
(D) for homeowners, it is potentially devastating in that their
(E) it can potentially devastate homeowners, whose
----
Explanation - "... can potentially is redundant in B and E. ..."
--------------------------------------

Its an OG-10 Solution.

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Re: Following the destruction of the space shuttle Challenger, [#permalink]

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07 Aug 2014, 13:11
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Re: Following the destruction of the space shuttle Challenger, [#permalink]

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07 Dec 2015, 13:33
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

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Re: Following the destruction of the space shuttle Challenger,   [#permalink] 07 Dec 2015, 13:33

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