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# In unveiling vast swaths of areas of which they previously had faintly

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In unveiling vast swaths of areas of which they previously had faintly  [#permalink]

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11 Oct 2016, 06:43
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95% (hard)

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48% (02:19) correct 52% (02:09) wrong based on 446 sessions

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In unveiling vast swaths of areas of which they previously had faintly any notion of their existence, much like modern day astronomers, ancient cartographers expanding our awareness of the world we inhabit and providing a basis so that we might reach even further into the unknown.

A. In unveiling vast swaths of areas of which they previously had faintly any notion of their existence, much like modern day astronomers, ancient cartographers
B. Much as modern day astronomers do, ancient cartographers unveiled vast swaths of areas of which they faintly had any notion, thereby
C. Like modern day astronomers, ancient cartographers unveiled vast swaths of areas whose previous existence they faintly had any notion of,
D. Ancient cartographers, much like modern day astronomers, unveiled vast swaths of areas, the existence of which they faintly had any notion of previously, thereby
E. Much as modern day astronomers have, ancient cartographers unveiled vast swaths of areas the existence of which they previously had faintly any notion, thereby
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Re: In unveiling vast swaths of areas of which they previously had faintly  [#permalink]

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11 Oct 2016, 10:01
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Samcom wrote:
In unveiling vast swaths of areas of which they previously had faintly any notion of their existence, much like modern day astronomers, ancient cartographers expanding our awareness of the world we inhabit and providing a basis so that we might reach even further into the unknown.

A. In unveiling vast swaths of areas of which they previously had faintly any notion of their existence, much like modern day astronomers, ancient cartographers
B. Much as modern day astronomers do, ancient cartographers unveiled vast swaths of areas of which they faintly had any notion, thereby
C. Like modern day astronomers, ancient cartographers unveiled vast swaths of areas whose previous existence they faintly had any notion of,
D. Ancient cartographers, much like modern day astronomers, unveiled vast swaths of areas, the existence of which they faintly had any notion of previously, thereby
E. Much as modern day astronomers have, ancient cartographers unveiled vast swaths of areas the existence of which they previously had faintly any notion, thereby

Dear Samcom,

I'm happy to respond. This question was written by my brilliant colleague & friend, Chris Lele. It's a tricky comparison.

A. In unveiling vast swaths of areas of which they previously had faintly any notion of their existence, much like modern day astronomers, ancient cartographers
The phrase "of which they previously had faintly any notion of their existence" is profoundly awkward and indirect. This is a very clumsy way to put these ideas together. Choice (A) is incorrect.

B. Much as modern day astronomers do, ancient cartographers unveiled vast swaths of areas of which they faintly had any notion, thereby
Sleek, direct, concise. No obvious grammar or logic problem. This is promising.

C. Like modern day astronomers, ancient cartographers unveiled vast swaths of areas whose previous existence they faintly had any notion of,
Hmm. Notice that (A) & (B) framed the analogy loosely: we can make an argument for the similarity of these people in very different time periods. Choice (C) chucks that subtlety and states it baldly: "Like modern day astronomers, ancient cartographers . . ." This is a subtle change in meaning, because the analogy is stated more forcefully, without hedging. That's a big problem with (C). Also, notice that the phrase ends with a preposition: that's a telltale sign. Ending with a preposition will NEVER be a deciding split, but notice that it only every appears on wrong answers on the GMAT SC. Choice (C) is incorrect.

D. Ancient cartographers, much like modern day astronomers, unveiled vast swaths of areas, the existence of which they faintly had any notion of previously, thereby
The phrase "the existence of which they faintly had any notion of previously" is another clunker, awkward, indirect, and clumsy. Choice (D) is incorrect.

E. Much as modern day astronomers have, ancient cartographers unveiled vast swaths of areas the existence of which they previously had faintly any notion,
This isn't bad, but it's wordier than (B). Notice that all the answer choices use "existence" but (B) doesn't. Use of this word is redundant. Consider these two sentences:
(a) In 1898, physicists became aware of the electron.
(b) In 1898, physicists became aware of the existence of the electron.
Those two sentences have the exact same meaning, but (b) uses more words to say the same thing. In other words (b) is redundant. Much in the same way, even (E) is redundant. The word "previously" is also redundant, because if discover something new, it's obvious that previously I didn't know it. The GMAT has zero tolerance for redundancy. Consider these two versions:
(E) Much as modern day astronomers have, ancient cartographers unveiled vast swaths of areas the existence of which they previously had faintly any notion,
(E1) Much as modern day astronomers have, ancient cartographers unveiled vast swaths of areas of which they had faintly any notion,

Now, (E1) looks good: in fact, it's quite similar to (B). When we remove all the redundancies, we get a sleek direct sentence.

Here are four more practice questions of this ilk:
4 Challenging Comparison Questions on the GMAT

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: In unveiling vast swaths of areas of which they previously had faintly  [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2018, 07:43
mikemcgarry wrote:
Samcom wrote:
In unveiling vast swaths of areas of which they previously had faintly any notion of their existence, much like modern day astronomers, ancient cartographers expanding our awareness of the world we inhabit and providing a basis so that we might reach even further into the unknown.

A. In unveiling vast swaths of areas of which they previously had faintly any notion of their existence, much like modern day astronomers, ancient cartographers
B. Much as modern day astronomers do, ancient cartographers unveiled vast swaths of areas of which they faintly had any notion, thereby
C. Like modern day astronomers, ancient cartographers unveiled vast swaths of areas whose previous existence they faintly had any notion of,
D. Ancient cartographers, much like modern day astronomers, unveiled vast swaths of areas, the existence of which they faintly had any notion of previously, thereby
E. Much as modern day astronomers have, ancient cartographers unveiled vast swaths of areas the existence of which they previously had faintly any notion, thereby

Dear Samcom,

I'm happy to respond. This question was written by my brilliant colleague & friend, Chris Lele. It's a tricky comparison.

A. In unveiling vast swaths of areas of which they previously had faintly any notion of their existence, much like modern day astronomers, ancient cartographers
The phrase "of which they previously had faintly any notion of their existence" is profoundly awkward and indirect. This is a very clumsy way to put these ideas together. Choice (A) is incorrect.

B. Much as modern day astronomers do, ancient cartographers unveiled vast swaths of areas of which they faintly had any notion, thereby
Sleek, direct, concise. No obvious grammar or logic problem. This is promising.

C. Like modern day astronomers, ancient cartographers unveiled vast swaths of areas whose previous existence they faintly had any notion of,
Hmm. Notice that (A) & (B) framed the analogy loosely: we can make an argument for the similarity of these people in very different time periods. Choice (C) chucks that subtlety and states it baldly: "Like modern day astronomers, ancient cartographers . . ." This is a subtle change in meaning, because the analogy is stated more forcefully, without hedging. That's a big problem with (C). Also, notice that the phrase ends with a preposition: that's a telltale sign. Ending with a preposition will NEVER be a deciding split, but notice that it only every appears on wrong answers on the GMAT SC. Choice (C) is incorrect.

D. Ancient cartographers, much like modern day astronomers, unveiled vast swaths of areas, the existence of which they faintly had any notion of previously, thereby
The phrase "the existence of which they faintly had any notion of previously" is another clunker, awkward, indirect, and clumsy. Choice (D) is incorrect.

E. Much as modern day astronomers have, ancient cartographers unveiled vast swaths of areas the existence of which they previously had faintly any notion,
This isn't bad, but it's wordier than (B). Notice that all the answer choices use "existence" but (B) doesn't. Use of this word is redundant. Consider these two sentences:
(a) In 1898, physicists became aware of the electron.
(b) In 1898, physicists became aware of the existence of the electron.
Those two sentences have the exact same meaning, but (b) uses more words to say the same thing. In other words (b) is redundant. Much in the same way, even (E) is redundant. The word "previously" is also redundant, because if discover something new, it's obvious that previously I didn't know it. The GMAT has zero tolerance for redundancy. Consider these two versions:
(E) Much as modern day astronomers have, ancient cartographers unveiled vast swaths of areas the existence of which they previously had faintly any notion,
(E1) Much as modern day astronomers have, ancient cartographers unveiled vast swaths of areas of which they had faintly any notion,

Now, (E1) looks good: in fact, it's quite similar to (B). When we remove all the redundancies, we get a sleek direct sentence.

Here are four more practice questions of this ilk:
4 Challenging Comparison Questions on the GMAT

Does all this make sense?
Mike

Hello mikemcgarry
I still didn't understand how choice C changes the meaning. Could you please elaborate it a bit more?
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Re: In unveiling vast swaths of areas of which they previously had faintly  [#permalink]

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27 Apr 2018, 00:30
A has ambiguity in meaning of they and their
C is ending with of and when reading the full sentence it is making no meaning
D Notion of previously is awkward
E Existence of which sounds awkward.

B is correct
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Re: In unveiling vast swaths of areas of which they previously had faintly  [#permalink]

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27 Apr 2018, 01:38
prateek176

My 2 cents on what Mike has suggested-

What Mike is referring to is how the use of the word "much" with the comparative word "Like" suggests only a partial similarity between astronomers and cartographers in Options A and B.

But in C with the removal of "much" the statement means that Astronomers and Cartographers were definitely similar in unveiling vast areas ......

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Re: In unveiling vast swaths of areas of which they previously had faintly  [#permalink]

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13 Sep 2018, 05:21

Official Explanation

Choice (A) has multiple problems. The first phrase is so wordy and indirect as to defy all logic. Then we get a misplaced modifier "much like modern astronomers" seems to apply either to "their existence" or to "vast swaths of area," either of which is incorrect. Finally, this choice commits the famous missing-verb mistake: the subject "ancient cartographers" has no verb! For all these reasons, choice (A) is incorrect.

Choice (B) is direct, powerful, and clear. This is a promising choice.

Choice (C) is awkward. Ending the clause with a preposition is colloquial and not well-spoken, a structure you will never see in an OA on the GMAT SC. Also, something is off about the comparison. What the ancient cartographers did is not exactly like what modern astronomers do: it is similar, but not the same. The comparison here bull-dozes over that subtlety. For these reasons, (C) is incorrect.

Choice (D) is grammatically correct, but choppy and overly wordy. The long phrase "the existence of which they faintly had any notion of previously" also has a dangly preposition at the end of the predicate, and this is so distended that it should be sent to the glue factory. Rhetorically, this is a disaster. Choice (D) is wrong.

Choice (E) is also too wordy. The word "previously" is implied, because once they were unveiling these vast swaths, they clearly knew about them. Also, "of which they faintly had any notion" is enough to convey the idea of "existence" without using that word, so that word is redundant here. Choice (E) is far too wordy and is wrong.

The only possible answer is (B).
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Re: In unveiling vast swaths of areas of which they previously had faintly  [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2018, 12:29
Samcom wrote:
In unveiling vast swaths of areas of which they previously had faintly any notion of their existence, much like modern day astronomers, ancient cartographers expanding our awareness of the world we inhabit and providing a basis so that we might reach even further into the unknown.

A. In unveiling vast swaths of areas of which they previously had faintly any notion of their existence, much like modern day astronomers, ancient cartographers
B. Much as modern day astronomers do, ancient cartographers unveiled vast swaths of areas of which they faintly had any notion, thereby
C. Like modern day astronomers, ancient cartographers unveiled vast swaths of areas whose previous existence they faintly had any notion of,
D. Ancient cartographers, much like modern day astronomers, unveiled vast swaths of areas, the existence of which they faintly had any notion of previously, thereby
E. Much as modern day astronomers have, ancient cartographers unveiled vast swaths of areas the existence of which they previously had faintly any notion, thereby

Hi Experts..

E. Much as modern day astronomers have, ancient cartographers unveiled vast swaths of areas the existence of which they previously had faintly any notion, thereby

In E is the use of word "faintly" appropriate here..
Thanks
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Re: In unveiling vast swaths of areas of which they previously had faintly  [#permalink]

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31 Mar 2020, 13:46
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Re: In unveiling vast swaths of areas of which they previously had faintly   [#permalink] 31 Mar 2020, 13:46