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# SVA Doubt

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Director
Joined: 21 May 2013
Posts: 660

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Updated on: 27 Nov 2017, 02:15
A string of terrorist attackshave hit the sparsely populated province since 2013

This was there in one of the reputed news publications today. My question is -should it not be 'A string of attacks' HAS?

Retail stocks have been rallying, partly because investors were a little too dour heading into this month, but also because it does seem that storeslike Wal-Mart, with its combination of e-commerce and brick-and-mortar offerings, are figuring out how to punch back against the online juggernaut

GMATNinja
chetan2u
GMATninja2
GMATNinja
mikemcgarry
VeritasPrepKarishma
daagh
Anyone-

Originally posted by KS15 on 25 Nov 2017, 03:20.
Last edited by KS15 on 27 Nov 2017, 02:15, edited 4 times in total.
Manager
Joined: 12 Feb 2015
Posts: 119
Location: India
Concentration: Technology, Operations
GMAT 1: 680 Q50 V31
GPA: 3.9
WE: Information Technology (Computer Software)

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25 Nov 2017, 04:06
KS15 wrote:
A string of terrorist attackshave hit the sparsely populated province since 2013

This was there in one of the reputed news publications today. My question is -should it not be 'A string of attacks' HAS?

GMATNinja
chetan2u

Should be "Has" not "Have"...
Which newspaper btw ?

Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor
Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 8880
Location: Pune, India

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27 Nov 2017, 03:23
KS15 wrote:
A string of terrorist attackshave hit the sparsely populated province since 2013

This was there in one of the reputed news publications today. My question is -should it not be 'A string of attacks' HAS?

Retail stocks have been rallying, partly because investors were a little too dour heading into this month, but also because it does seem that storeslike Wal-Mart, with its combination of e-commerce and brick-and-mortar offerings, are figuring out how to punch back against the online juggernaut

GMATNinja
chetan2u
GMATninja2
GMATNinja
mikemcgarry
VeritasPrepKarishma
daagh
Anyone-

Yes, "a string of attacks" does take "has".

Also, "like" is used to give an example in the second sentence. Though, strictly speaking, the sentence should have used "such as", but the use of "like" to give examples has become so common that it is somewhat acceptable. For GMAT though, we would like to see "such as" until and unless nothing else makes sense.
_________________

Karishma
Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor

Director
Joined: 21 May 2013
Posts: 660

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27 Nov 2017, 03:35
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
KS15 wrote:
A string of terrorist attackshave hit the sparsely populated province since 2013

This was there in one of the reputed news publications today. My question is -should it not be 'A string of attacks' HAS?

Retail stocks have been rallying, partly because investors were a little too dour heading into this month, but also because it does seem that storeslike Wal-Mart, with its combination of e-commerce and brick-and-mortar offerings, are figuring out how to punch back against the online juggernaut

GMATNinja
chetan2u
GMATninja2
GMATNinja
mikemcgarry
VeritasPrepKarishma
daagh
Anyone-

Yes, "a string of attacks" does take "has".

Also, "like" is used to give an example in the second sentence. Though, strictly speaking, the sentence should have used "such as", but the use of "like" to give examples has become so common that it is somewhat acceptable. For GMAT though, we would like to see "such as" until and unless nothing else makes sense.

VeritasPrepKarishma: I have 2 questions
1. In sentence one, I understand that we use 'has' as per GMAT, are we saying that WSJ is incorrect or the use of 'have' is justified by 'attacks'?
2. In sentence two, is it safe to say that 'like' should not be used to eliminate splits on SC in the real GMAT?. Also, if you see the sentence lacks parallelism-so is WSJ not a publication to read with respect to studying for the GMAT?
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4486

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27 Nov 2017, 11:33
KS15 wrote:
A string of terrorist attackshave hit the sparsely populated province since 2013

This was there in one of the reputed news publications today. My question is -should it not be 'A string of attacks' HAS?

Retail stocks have been rallying, partly because investors were a little too dour heading into this month, but also because it does seem that storeslike Wal-Mart, with its combination of e-commerce and brick-and-mortar offerings, are figuring out how to punch back against the online juggernaut

Dear KS15,

I see a few other experts have responded. I'll add my two cents here.

For any newspaper, there is a trade-off. One the one hand, there's a kind of traditional emphasis on high quality writing, which of course would include excellent grammar. On the other hand, there's the need to make money and embrace a broad readership. Unfortunately, excellent grammar is actually a put-off to the vast majority of Americans, most of whom are woefully undereducated. Thus, the more a newspaper wants to make money and expand its readership, the more its grammatical standards plummet.

For years, the Wall Street Journal was a highly esteemed newspaper, holding a high standard of writing quality as well as a high standard of journalistic impartiality. Much of this changed in 2007, when the WSJ was subsumed into Rupert Murdoch's empire, which includes the FOX News channel. Now, the newspaper, like FOX News, is unabashedly highly conservative and complete dismissively of any liberal positions. A fascination with the high points of grammar is generally associated with academic, which the far right often paints as the liberal elite, so as part of this 2007 shift, the grammatical standards of the paper have plummeted. Of course, not all the grammar is bad, but the paper is no longer an exemplar to which non-natives should aspire. All this is my understanding of the politics and economics of the situation.

In short, don't depend on the WSJ for GMAT SC standards of grammar. The NY Times, the Economist Magazine, and the Financial Times are still well respected, although even these face the tradeoff mentioned above.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
_________________

Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor
Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 8880
Location: Pune, India

### Show Tags

28 Nov 2017, 02:23
KS15 wrote:
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
KS15 wrote:
A string of terrorist attackshave hit the sparsely populated province since 2013

This was there in one of the reputed news publications today. My question is -should it not be 'A string of attacks' HAS?

Retail stocks have been rallying, partly because investors were a little too dour heading into this month, but also because it does seem that storeslike Wal-Mart, with its combination of e-commerce and brick-and-mortar offerings, are figuring out how to punch back against the online juggernaut

GMATNinja
chetan2u
GMATninja2
GMATNinja
mikemcgarry
VeritasPrepKarishma
daagh
Anyone-

Yes, "a string of attacks" does take "has".

Also, "like" is used to give an example in the second sentence. Though, strictly speaking, the sentence should have used "such as", but the use of "like" to give examples has become so common that it is somewhat acceptable. For GMAT though, we would like to see "such as" until and unless nothing else makes sense.

VeritasPrepKarishma: I have 2 questions
1. In sentence one, I understand that we use 'has' as per GMAT, are we saying that WSJ is incorrect or the use of 'have' is justified by 'attacks'?
2. In sentence two, is it safe to say that 'like' should not be used to eliminate splits on SC in the real GMAT?. Also, if you see the sentence lacks parallelism-so is WSJ not a publication to read with respect to studying for the GMAT?

You have brought forward an interesting discussion - errors in leading newspapers are not that uncommon. Check this post - the NY Times' annual review of its own grammar mistakes:

Check out the "like' vs "such as" discussion on the NY Times blog:

All in all, use of have is not justified. Use of like, I would like to challenge but it may not be a deal-breaker.
_________________

Karishma
Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor

Director
Joined: 21 May 2013
Posts: 660

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28 Nov 2017, 02:54
Thank you for sharing this. Some of my questions now are.

1. So, how do we eliminate if 'like' and 'such as ' are the only splits in the sentence? Which one will be correct? Like or such as for examples
2. Also, in 'A string of attacks' don't you think 'attacks' have hit and hence we need have and not the string which has hit
3. In the NYT link that you shared, article also talks about 'None' and how it can be used in the plural sense-your thoughts on this.

All in all, after looking at these things, it seems like no newspaper can be regarded as the gold standard when it comes to GMATPrep. I am surprised how has GMAC designed its curriculum then. It becomes very difficult for non natives when there is no standard material to refer. Different US newspapers follow different styles and variations.
Re: SVA Doubt   [#permalink] 28 Nov 2017, 02:54
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