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

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

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The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was largely vegetarian—vegetables, fresh cheese, oatmeal, and meal cakes, and meat rarely.

(A) and meat rarely
(B) and meat was rare
(C) with meat as rare
(D) meat a rarity
(E) with meat as a rarity


The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 10th Edition, 2003

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 104
Page: 668


https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1984/07/09/the-original-olympiads

One month before the Games began, the contestants arrived for more training in the several buildings erected for that purpose in the nearby town of Elis. As the Games progressed, trainers grew in importance. They were knowledgeable about such matters as exercise regimens, physiotherapy, and muscle physiology, and some had firm ideas about diet. That of the ordinary Greek in the early days was largely vegetarian—vegetables, fresh cheese, oatmeal, and meal cakes, with meat as a rarity. Some trainers later favored a heavy meat diet for their athletes, but one runner won the sprint on a diet of dried figs.

Originally posted by manoharpln on 20 Apr 2010, 16:59.
Last edited by Bunuel on 18 Mar 2019, 00:40, edited 4 times in total.
Edited the question.
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Re: The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was largely vegetari  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Apr 2010, 19:11
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Hey All,

No one bothered to explain this one on here, so I figured I'd weigh in, since it's a quick one.

The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was largely vegetarian—vegetables, fresh cheese, oatmeal, and meal cakes, and meat rarely.

Obviously, this is a parallelism issue. Every list needs to have "and" at the end. You can't use "and" twice, unless the second to last item in the list is a compound. For example: "I like all kinds of sandwiches: reuben, turkey, pastrami, peanut butter and jelly, and veggie." But in that case, there are two nouns in that second to last entry (peanut butter and jelly). We don't have that here, so there's no justification for having two "and"s.

(A) and meat rarely
PROBLEM: No and allowed.

(B) and meat was rare
PROBLEM: Again.

(C) with meat as rare
PROBLEM: You can't just say "meat as rare". As sets up either a comparison ("meat as rare as an uncooked log.") or some type of prepositional phrase ("meat as metaphor for life...").

(D) meat a rarity
PROBLEM: We need some segue from the last item in the list.

(E) with meat as a rarity
ANSWER: We get the prepositional phrase. It's a bit odd, since it's modifying something that came a long time ago, but it's still the best choice.

Hope that helps!

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

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New post 07 May 2010, 04:16
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there is no need for any explanation after Tommy`s, doing it just for myself :)


E

there are three points in a row. before the last one we can see the conjunction "and". So all options with another "and" are out.
rarity is much better than rare when you are trying to describe a noun.
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Re: The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was largely vegetari  [#permalink]

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New post 07 May 2010, 04:22
serhio,

This is not my question. Please read carefully what I have asked Tommy.


serhio wrote:
there is no need for any explanation after Tommy`s, doing it just for myself :)


E

there are three points in a row. before the last one we can see the conjunction "and". So all options with another "and" are out.
rarity is much better than rare when you are trying to describe a noun.

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

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New post 07 May 2010, 10:21
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Hey Ykaiim,

"Or" is another parallelism marker. But for what it's worth, "or" sets up alternatives, not a list, per se. But yes, if you want to discuss alternatives, then "or" must come before the final term in the parallel structure.

Thanks for making sure that got mentioned!

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

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New post 18 Dec 2016, 21:43
manoharpln wrote:
The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was largely vegetarian—vegetables, fresh cheese, oatmeal, and meal cakes, and meat rarely.

(A) and meat rarely -- hold
(B) and meat was rare -- sound as if meat was scarce,eliminate
(C) with meat as rare -- sounds like an open-end comparison as rare..,eliminate
(D) meat a rarity -- just weird,a stand alone after comma but not in the list
(E) with meat as a rarity -- with rarely meat may be better to my ear.As a rarity sounds as if meat=rarity ?!


Hi sayantanc2k and all,
IMHO,option A could read
The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was largely vegetarian—vegetables, fresh cheese, oatmeal, and meal cakes, and the diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was meat rarely.
The last "and" is the conjunction here.Is my reasoning flawed?

Again,I accept that the correct choice is E,but more elaboration would be appreciate especially for how ",with meat as a rarity" is proper placed in the context and how my reasoning flaw.
Thanks :-D :-D
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Re: The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was largely vegetari  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Dec 2016, 15:50
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sleepynut wrote:
manoharpln wrote:
The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was largely vegetarian—vegetables, fresh cheese, oatmeal, and meal cakes, and meat rarely.

(A) and meat rarely -- hold
(B) and meat was rare -- sound as if meat was scarce,eliminate
(C) with meat as rare -- sounds like an open-end comparison as rare..,eliminate
(D) meat a rarity -- just weird,a stand alone after comma but not in the list
(E) with meat as a rarity -- with rarely meat may be better to my ear.As a rarity sounds as if meat=rarity ?!


Hi sayantanc2k and all,
IMHO,option A could read
The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was largely vegetarian—vegetables, fresh cheese, oatmeal, and meal cakes, and the diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was meat rarely.
The last "and" is the conjunction here.Is my reasoning flawed?

Again,I accept that the correct choice is E,but more elaboration would be appreciate especially for how ",with meat as a rarity" is proper placed in the context and how my reasoning flaw.
Thanks :-D :-D


Your reasoning would be appropriate if there were another dash (instead of comma) after "meal cakes" to separate out the list of vegetarian diet - there would then be no ambiguity in the usage of the second "and". Moreover, ideally "rarely" should be preceding "meat" (largely vegetarian and rarely meat) - nonetheless there would still be a parallelism issue between "vegetarian" and "meat" - the first one is an adjective whereas the latter a noun.

The modifier "with meat as a rarity" is somewhat awkward, but this modifier can be considered an adverbial modifier rather than a noun modifier, and hence the placement is flexible.
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Re: The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was largely vegetari  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jan 2018, 09:36
manoharpln wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 10th Edition, 2003

Practice Question
Question No.: SC 104
Page: 668

The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was largely vegetarian—vegetables, fresh cheese, oatmeal, and meal cakes, and meat rarely.

(A) and meat rarely
(B) and meat was rare
(C) with meat as rare
(D) meat a rarity
(E) with meat as a rarity


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

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New post 16 Jan 2018, 14:53
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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 :-)
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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, 01:36
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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New post 24 Feb 2019, 23:45
A and B can be immediately discarded, since a list can’t have two ands. C can also be discarded, quite obviously. “with meant as rare” doesn’t make any sense, an adjective is being treated like a noun. D is just as wrong. There needs to be a connecting phrase after the last item on the list. So, by PoE, we can tell that E is actually the correct option.
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Re: The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was largely vegetari  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Mar 2019, 15:42
TommyWallach wrote:

Obviously, this is a parallelism issue. Every list needs to have "and" at the end. You can't use "and" twice, unless the second to last item in the list is a compound. For example: "I like all kinds of sandwiches: reuben, turkey, pastrami, peanut butter and jelly, and veggie." But in that case, there are two nouns in that second to last entry (peanut butter and jelly). We don't have that here, so there's no justification for having two "and"s.



HiTommyWallach

I was not able to apply your "two ands" logic in this similar question: https://gmatclub.com/forum/as-criminal- ... 20239.html

Is there any particular reason?

Thanks in advance!
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New post 17 Mar 2019, 01:28
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BunuelWannabe wrote:
HiTommyWallach

I was not able to apply your "two ands" logic in this similar question: https://gmatclub.com/forum/as-criminal- ... 20239.html

Is there any particular reason?

Thanks in advance!
I'm not sure what the "two ands logic" is, but here is how you can read the lists in the question you linked to:

They can also (1) pilfer valuable information such as (a) business development strategies, (b) new product specifications, and (c) contract bidding plans, and (2) sell the data to competitors.
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New post 17 Mar 2019, 06:00
AjiteshArun wrote:
BunuelWannabe wrote:
Hi[[/b][/url]

I was not able to apply your "two ands" logic in this similar question: https://gmatclub.com/forum/as-criminal- ... 20239.html

Is there any particular reason?

Thanks in advance!
I'm not sure what the "two ands logic" is, but here is how you can read the lists in the question you linked to:

They can also (1) pilfer valuable information such as (a) business development strategies, (b) new product specifications, and (c) contract bidding plans, and (2) sell the data to competitors.


Hi AjiteshArun,

Then, going back to the question of this post, what would be the problem with b)?

The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times (1) was largely vegetarian—vegetables, fresh cheese, oatmeal, and meal cakes, and (2) meat was rare.

Is it only because the comma? Otherwise would be a correct option?

Thanks for your help!
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New post 17 Mar 2019, 09:05
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BunuelWannabe wrote:
Hi AjiteshArun,

Then, going back to the question of this post, what would be the problem with b)?

The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times (1) was largely vegetarian—vegetables, fresh cheese, oatmeal, and meal cakes, and (2) meat was rare.

Is it only because the comma? Otherwise would be a correct option?

Thanks for your help!
Meat was rare is a clause. This means that (1) should not be was largely vegetarian, which is just a verb phrase. Instead, (1) would have to be the whole thing: the diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was largely vegetarian. That's not a problem though.

The problem with B is that it is ambiguous. For example, it could mean that meat was scarce (rare). The official explanation went for this meaning of rare.
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New post 17 Mar 2019, 09:47
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BunuelWannabe wrote:
Is it only because the comma? Otherwise would be a correct option?
I went through the thread and read the posts that say that two ands cannot be used together. I can now see where you are coming from on this.

I don't agree with those posts. The comma is not a problem, and two ands should be fine, in the sense that they are possible in those positions.

The first option ends up saying:
The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was (1) largely vegetarian... and (2) meat rarely.
Here the second item in the list does link to the diet (the diet was X and Y), but the structure it leads to is unidiomatic (the diet was meat rarely).

The second option ends up saying:
(1) The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was largely vegetarian... and (2) meat was rare.
Here the second item in the list is not clearly linked to the first, because it is a separate clause. That makes it sound as if the second item in the list is not continuing the thought introduced by the first.

The diet was veg and meat was rare.

This sounds as if we giving the reader two separate facts.
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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 Mar 2019, 09:56
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AjiteshArun wrote:
BunuelWannabe wrote:
Hi AjiteshArun,

Then, going back to the question of this post, what would be the problem with b)?

The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times (1) was largely vegetarian—vegetables, fresh cheese, oatmeal, and meal cakes, and (2) meat was rare.

Is it only because the comma? Otherwise would be a correct option?

Thanks for your help!
Meat was rare is a clause. This means that (1) should not be was largely vegetarian, which is just a verb phrase. Instead, (1) would have to be the whole thing: the diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was largely vegetarian. That's not a problem though.

The problem with B is that it is ambiguous. For example, it could mean that meat was scarce (rare). The official explanation went for this meaning of rare.


I wrote the same explanation but deleted immediately, thinking that I may be wrong. :)
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Re: The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was largely vegetari  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2019, 04:24
daagh sir GMATNinja sir aragonn generis I am not able to understand why Option E is correct where we are using prepositional phrase
Also since there is a - in the sentence that is used to provide lists, shouldn't noun bee used in the last item
Kindly shed your inputs on why two ands are incorrect here
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Re: The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was largely vegetari  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2019, 07:15
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Vasuka wrote

Quote:
Also since there is a - in the sentence that is used to provide lists, shouldn't noun bee used in the last item



The crux of the matter is that we tend to think that it is just one list. No, Vasuka, there are actually two lists namely 1. A largely vegetarian list that contains four items such as —vegetables, fresh cheese, oatmeal, and meal cakes, and 2. a single-item non-vegetarian list that is meat. As far as the first list is concerned, I do not think there is any issue about parallelism. In addition, the second list must be connected to the previous list either with a coordinate conjunction such as 'and' or with a prepositional modifier such as 'with'. However, using fanboys would be wrong because, the non- vegetarian item was a scarcely used less important diet. In addition, a prepositional modifier such as 'with' will be more suitable to indicate that the second list is not a parallel item to the first list, but indeed is just an auxiliary.

That is why we can justify the use of the prepositional modifier 'with' in this given case.
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Re: The diet of the ordinary Greek in classical times was largely vegetari   [#permalink] 23 Mar 2019, 07:15
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