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Re: The commission has directed advertisers to restrict the use [#permalink]

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New post 14 May 2017, 10:40
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The correct way to parse this sentence is this way: The commission has directed advertisers to restrict the use of the word natural to foods that do not contain (A. color or flavor additives, (or) B. chemical preservatives, or C anything that has been synthesized.)
You can see now why anything that has been synthesized is gelling with the rest of the list. The text implies that even if one of the items is found to be used in the food, that food can't be marked as natural. This invalidates the use of 'and' in the choice.
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The commission has directed advertisers to restrict the use [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2017, 18:25
bsd_lover wrote:
The commission has directed advertisers to restrict the use of the word "natural" to foods that do not contain color or flavor additives, chemical preservatives, or nothing that has been synthesized.

(A) or nothing that has been

(B) or that has been

(C) and nothing that is

(D) or anything that has been

(E) and anything


First Glance

With an underline this short, look at the answers before reading the original sentence. The and versus or and nothing versus anything splits signal a Meaning or Idiom issue. Verb tense might be an issue (has been versus is).

Issues

(1) Meaning: nothing; and

The original sentence describes foods that do not contain additives, preservatives, or nothing that has been synthesized. Shorten the sentence: foods that do not contain nothing that has been synthesized.

Both do not and nothing are negatives. It's not acceptable to use two negatives in a row; this is called a double negative and it's always wrong. Eliminate answers (A) and (C).

Check the and versus or issue that you spotted when comparing the answers:

do not contain additives, preservatives, or anything synthesized
do not contain additives, preservatives, and anything synthesized

The and option means that the food cannot contain all three bad things at once—but a food that has only one or two of the three would still be considered natural. This doesn't make logical sense. it's more logical to say that the food cannot contain any of the bad ingredients. Eliminate answers (C) and (E).

(2) Parallelism: X, Y, or that Z

The sentence contains a list of three items; check for parallelism.

The list consists of nouns that describes bad things that could be added to food. Answers (A), (C), (D), and (E) all offer a noun (anything or nothing), but answer (B) is problematic. It could be interpreted in two different ways:

Option 1: additives, preservatives, or that has been
Option 2: that do not contain X, Y, or that has been Z

Option 1 is a list of three items, but the third is not parallel to the first two. In option 2, the sentence contains two parallel that clauses: that do not contain and that has been. In this case, the first portion would have to be that do not contain X or Y. The word or is missing! Under either interpretation, the sentence isn't constructed properly. Eliminate answer (B).

The Correct Answer

Correct answer (D) eliminates the double negative by changing the word nothing to anything.
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Kudos [?]: 1363 [0], given: 440

The commission has directed advertisers to restrict the use   [#permalink] 23 Oct 2017, 18:25

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