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In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, te

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In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, te  [#permalink]

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In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, testified in Patent Office hearings that, to test the system, a colleague of his had managed to win a patent for one of Kirchhoff's laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics.


(A) laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and

(B) laws, which was an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and it is

(C) laws, namely, it was an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and

(D) laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845, it is

(E) laws that was an observation about electric current, first made in 1845, and is


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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 193: Sentence Correction


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QOTD: In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2018, 21:25
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Quote:
(A) laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and

The biggest thing that jumps out at me here is the word "and." Something has to be parallel with the phrase that follows the word "and." And I think we're in good shape: "... one of Kirchhoff's laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics." Cool, "first made in 1845" and "now included in virtually every textbook" both modify "an observation about electric current" -- and that makes perfect sense.

So let's keep (A).

Quote:
(B) laws, which was an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and it is

The "which" jumps out at me first in (B): "which was an observation..." modifies "one of Kirchoff's laws." That's OK, though we probably don't really even need the phrase "which was." It's not a big deal, but (A) is more succinct because it skips those extra couple of words. That's not a definite error, but it's a mild reason to prefer (A) over (B).

The bigger problem is the parallelism. Following the "and", we have a brand-new clause: "it is now included in virtually every textbook..." But I don't think that the clause is logically parallel to anything. And more importantly: there's no good reason to start a brand-new clause here, partly because we're just trying to describe the observation, so a simple modifier would be cleaner than a brand-new clause.

So (B) isn't a complete disaster, but it's definitely not as good as (A).

Quote:
(C) laws, namely, it was an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and

This is a classic comma splice:

  • Independent clause #1: "In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, testified in Patent Office hearings that, to test the system, a colleague of his had managed to win a patent for one of Kirchhoff's laws..."
  • Independent clause #2: "...it was an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics."

Those two independent clauses are separated by only a comma, and that's not cool. (Commas and comma splices are very briefly discussed in this YouTube video on GMAT punctuation if you're curious to learn more about that crap.) So we can eliminate (C).

Quote:
(D) laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845, it is

(D) has basically the same comma splice problem as (C):

  • Independent clause #1: "In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, testified in Patent Office hearings that, to test the system, a colleague of his had managed to win a patent for one of Kirchhoff's laws..."
  • Independent clause #2: "...it is now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics."

So (D) is out, too.

Quote:
(E) laws that was an observation about electric current, first made in 1845, and is

(E) isn't a total disaster, but it's definitely not as good as (A).

For starters, I'm not sure why we would say something like "...one of Kirchoff's laws that was an observation about electric current..." First, there's no good reason to emphasize the past tense in this case: sure, the observation was first made in the past, but there's no good reason to suggest that the law itself somehow existed only in the past -- and that's exactly what seems to be happening in (A). Second, the phrase "one of Kirchoff's laws that was an observation about electric current" suggests that Kirchoff had other laws that were NOT about electric current, and we have no idea if that's actually the case.

The other problem is the placement of the modifier "first made in 1845." This is subtle and annoying, but because "first made in 1845" is surrounded by commas (an appositive phrase, if you like grammar jargon), it seems to modify ONLY the preceding noun, "electric current." So if we think about the sentence strictly and literally, it's saying that electric current was first made in 1845, and that's really not what the sentence is trying to say -- it's trying to say that the observation was first made in 1845, not the electric current itself.

So (E) can be eliminated, and (A) is the best we can do.
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Re: In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, te  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Nov 2005, 09:03
1
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It is A.
E has wrong verb "was" for subject "that", which refers to laws.
B also has same problem as E has.
C/D are run-on.
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Re: In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, te  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2007, 23:06
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helpmeongmat wrote:
In 1995, Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, testified in Patent Office hearing that, to test the system, a colleague of his had managed to win a patent for one of Kirchoff's laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics.

A) laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and
B) laws, which was an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and it is
C) laws, namely, it was an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and
D) laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845, it is
E) laws that was an observation about electric current, first made in 1845, and is


I got this from the OG (D40 on page 96). Please provide reasons why others should be ruled out. Thanks!


C - 'namely', it was ... - awkward construction
D - ,it is .. creating 'run-on' sentense
E - that restricts the laws and wrongly used here

A, B - left

B - wordy
A - best
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Re: In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, te  [#permalink]

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New post 22 May 2010, 07:45
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B/w A and E. I will go with A.

Removing the middle man:
In 1995 Richard Stallman testified in Patent Office hearings that a colleague of his had managed to win a patent for one of Kirchhoff's laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics.

(A) laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and

(B) laws, which was an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and it is
The restrictive WHICH is not matched with LAWS. in addition, was an observation indicates that this observation was in past and no longer exists. I think it is still a law :-D . No referrent for IT in the end. Incorrect.

(C) laws, namely, it was an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and
Similar to B. namely, it was an is wordy. Incorrect.

(D) laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845, it is
No referrent for IT. Incorrect.

(E) laws that was an observation about electric current, first made in 1845, and is
Similar to B. No clear sunject for IS - The patent or one of the LAWS (Plural). Incorrect.
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Re: In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, te  [#permalink]

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New post 27 May 2010, 12:58
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OA is 'A'.

Just to add to the discussions:
IMO


(A) laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and
(B) laws, which was an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and it is
--> Pronoun reference problem. 'It' can refer to electric current/laws/observation
(C) laws, namely, it was an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and --> nonsense
(D) laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845, it is --> Similar to (b). Pronoun reference issue.
(E) laws that was an observation about electric current, first made in 1845, and is --> Modifier Problem. Sounds like current was made in 1865

Thanks
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Re: In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, te  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Oct 2010, 04:13
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B states that laws which was an observation; laws is plural and was is singular . Secondly, the pronoun it has no antecedent. Does it refer to the observation or one of the laws or the patent or what? Therefore B is ruled out
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Re: In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, te  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Sep 2012, 11:11
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In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, testified in Patent Office hearings that, to test the system, a colleague of his had managed to win a patent for one of Kirchhoff's laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics.

can someone help me understand how "Kirchhoff's laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics " is not like a sentence fragment.
I thought something like
"Kirchhoff's laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and IS NOW included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics "

---- would make more sense cause now we are adding a verb ... what am i missing here . can some1 shed some light here,
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Re: In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, te  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2013, 11:35
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Re: In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, te  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2013, 08:13
sandalphon wrote:
In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, testified in Patent Office hearings that, to test the system, a colleague of his had managed to win a patent for one of Kirchhoff's laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics.

(A) laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and
(B) laws, which was an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and it is
(C) laws, namely, it was an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and
(D) laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845, it is
(E) laws that was an observation about electric current, first made in 1845, and is


I also got the answer as A. Want to make sure whether my logic is correct.

A) Correct
B) The sentence as a whole talks about the patent system. Hence use of which(non-essential modifier) is appropriate but introduces a parallelism error with and it is
C) namely, it was an.. makes the construction awkward.
D) Removing the fluff we get:
In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, testified in Patent Office hearings that, to test the system, a colleague of his had managed to win a patent for one of Kirchhoff's laws ,an observation about electric current first made in 1845, it is now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics
Creates a run-on sentence
E) I have a doubt here. According to me, the use of that was is correct and also it maintains the parallel structure. Also that correctly modifies the one of the laws. What does first made in 1845 modify? (btw IMO it modifies observation correctly). So Why is this option wrong?

I marked this option as the answer using the following rule, the topic of discussion in the sentence is testifying of Richard Stallman, the use of that.. introduces a restrictive clause. Am I correct?

Also if one of the option would have been something as below then what would be the answer?

laws, which was an observation about electric current, first made in 1845, and is

Can anyone or any expert help me out with this?
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Re: In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, te  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2014, 06:46
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It simply means that in order to prove the vulnerability of patenting system, somebody hoodwinked the public by taking a patent on one of the oldest laws of physics; even a school-going child knows this rule, but nobody including the patenting department cared to verify
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Re: In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, te  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Feb 2014, 06:30
daagh wrote:
It simply means that in order to prove the vulnerability of patenting system, somebody hoodwinked the public by taking a patent on one of the oldest laws of physics; even a school-going child knows this rule, but nobody including the patenting department cared to verify


Hi Sir,
Can you please help me to clear my concept.

laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and now included >>> This is the modifier

I think that this is a run on as obervation made and now included requires a verb?Isn't it?
I might be asking a silly one but pls clarify with any supportive examples.
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New post 02 Feb 2014, 09:56
@sanjeebpanda

The confusion basically arises because the word 'clause' has been misunderstood. A clause is essentially a complete theme with a subject and a working verb, or often a verbal phrase that contains modifiers and objects. Thus A clause is different from a phrase, which does not have a verb;

Second, a modifier can either be a clause or even a phrase; the clause itself may be a subordinate clause or a compound clause. Its major job is to give additional info or describe somewhat more what it modifies.
The text under question is just a combination of two phrases joined by conjunction ‘and’. The coordinate conjunction can join both two nouns or two phrases or two clauses. Here, --an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics -- are both modifier phrases without verbs
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Re: In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, te  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2015, 23:22
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[quote="wininblue"]in 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, testified in Patent Office hearings that, to test the system, a colleague of his had managed to win a patent for one of Kirchhoff's laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and now included in virtually every textbookof elementary physics.


A laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and - Correct.

B laws, which was an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and it is - which not used correctly, no comma after 1845.

C laws, namely, it was an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and - wrong 'namely' is not used correctly.

D laws, an aobservation about electric current first made in 1845, it is - wrong there cannot be two independent clauses in a sentence without a connector.

E laws that was an observation about electric current, first made in 1845, and is - wrong seems like the electric current was made in 1845.
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Re: In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, te  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Feb 2016, 17:31
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A laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and - Correct.

B laws, which was an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and it is - AFTER AND IT IS PLACD WRONGLY

C laws, namely, it was an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and - wrong 'namely' is not used correctly.

D laws, an aobservation about electric current first made in 1845, it is - wrong there cannot be two independent clauses in a sentence without a connector.

E laws that was an observation about electric current, first made in 1845, and is - wrong seems like the electric current was made in 1845.
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Re: QOTD: In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2018, 00:17
In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent system, testified in Patent Office hearings that, to test the system, a colleague of his had managed to win a patent for one of Kirchhoff's laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and now included in virtually every textbook of elementary physics.

(A) laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and
Correct

(B) laws, which was an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and it is
1. Which was --SV agreement
2. Law still exists; we can't use past tense
3. It has no referent

(C) laws, namely, it was an observation about electric current first made in 1845 and
Wordy

(D) laws, an observation about electric current first made in 1845, it is
Run on

(E) laws that was an observation about electric current, first made in 1845, and is
That was has SV agreement
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Re: QOTD: In 1995 Richard Stallman, a well-known critic of the patent &nbs [#permalink] 04 Jan 2018, 00:17
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