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The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was largely vegetari

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Re: The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was largely vegetari  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2018, 00:36
mikemcgarry wrote:
gmatexam439 wrote:
Hello mikemcgarry,

Good day to you!

Please throw some light on my below doubt.

In the given sentence, "The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was largely vegetarian—vegetables, fresh cheese, oatmeal, and meal cakes, and meat rarely", I understand that we have a "—" that is used to provide the list of items. Since there is no second "—" in the sentence it means that all the items mentioned after "—" are part of the list. So shouldn't we use a noun after the last "and" (highlighted) because all the items are a noun.

Why is the usage of prepositional phrase — with meat as a rarity — correct here?

Please elucidate.

Regards

Dear gmatexam439,

Good day to you, my friend! I'm happy to respond. :-)

This is another truly brilliant SC problem from the official GMAT. Like many more difficult questions, this one is designed to frustrate simply mechanical thinking. Language is not mathematics, and patterns in language that usually apply often can change in exceptional circumstances for logical or rhetorical purposes. If you are too attached to a tight literal understanding of the rules, you will be befuddled by one hard SC questions after another.

It's perfectly true one use of the em-dash is to set off a list of examples. It's perfectly true that, under ordinary condition, a list is just a collection of nouns in parallel, so the last element would be a noun. That's often the case, but not always. Sometimes, logic requires that we add some kind of comment at the end of a list--its source, its reputed veracity, or a notable exception.
Some religions recounts cases of humans who did not undergo physical death--Enoch and Elijah, according to the Hebrew Bible.
Some political parties claim objective qualities for their views--fair and balanced, as FOX News purports.

This is the way the preposition "with meat as a rarity" is used--an exception that clarifies the nature of the list.

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)


As always, thank you Mike. I had chosen the correct answer but wanted to know the technical breakdown.

Regards
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Re: The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was largely vegetari  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2019, 03:04
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Re: The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was largely vegetari   [#permalink] 30 Jan 2019, 03:04

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