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The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a sur

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New post 16 Nov 2019, 00:48
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A
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C
D
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Project SC Butler: Day 192: Sentence Correction (SC1)


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The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was aggravated when the massive influx of capital that took place under Operation Bootstrap resulted in a notable decline in the demand for labor.

(A) The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was

(B) Properly characterized, the economic problem Puerto Rico has is a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was

(C) The economic problem of Puerto Rico is properly characterized not as overpopulation but as a surplus of labor, which was only

(D) The economic problem of Puerto Rico is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, which only was

(E) Puerto Rico has, properly characterized, the economic problem of a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it was only

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New post 16 Nov 2019, 00:50
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OFFICIAL EXPLANATION

Project SC Butler: Day 192: Sentence Correction (SC1)



• MEANING

The economic problem of Puerto Rico is properly characterized as a surplus of labor, not as overpopulation.
Operation B made the surplus of labor worse. The operation decreased demand for labor. Operation B simply made a problem worse.

THE PROMPT, shortened a little

The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was aggravated when the massive influx of capital that took place under Operation Bootstrap resulted in a notable decline in the demand for labor.

We'll work with this shortened version of the prompt:
Quote:
The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was aggravated when Operation Bootstrap resulted in a notable decline in the demand for labor.


THE OPTIONS

Quote:
A) The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized,[/color] a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was aggravated when Operation Bootstrap resulted in a notable decline in the demand for labor.

• This sentence is a disaster. it is convoluted, choppy, and indirect.
Example: The problem ABC has . . . IS? :x

• does “it” create pronoun ambiguity? I don’t think so.
• IT must have only one logical antecedent.
-- If we can tell from context that “it” logically refers to only one noun, we probably do not have pronoun ambiguity.
-- The first part of the sentence identifies the problem: a surplus of labor
-- the second part of the sentence describes something that would aggravate a surplus of labor. That is:
(1) Operation B aggravated “it” by decreasing demand for labor. A surplus of labor would definitely be aggravated if demand for labor declined.
(2) How could a decreased demand for labor affect overpopulation, never mind aggravate overpopulation (which is not the problem)?

• I would not eliminate A based on pronoun ambiguity unless it were the last of two options. But I would look for an option without ambiguity.

• the placement of properly characterized is jarring

• “only” is wrongly placed.
-- Meaning-wise, “only” should be placed after "was" so that "only" means “simply,” as in:
The labor surplus problem was already bad, and Operation B simply made that problem worse.
KEEP A, but look for better options

Quote:
B) Properly characterized, the economic problem Puerto Rico has is a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was aggravated when Operation Bootstrap resulted in a notable decline in the demand for labor.

• same problems as those in A: has is and placement of only
KEEP, but now I am 99% sure that neither A nor B is the answer because A and B are so similar

Quote:
C) The economic problem of Puerto Rico is properly characterized not as overpopulation but as a surplus of labor, which was only aggravated when Operation Bootstrap resulted in a notable decline in the demand for labor.

• I see a common idiom: The problem is properly characterized Not as X but as Y
-- X = overpopulation and Y = a surplus of labor
-- X and Y are parallel nouns

• This phrasing is much clearer than that in A and B

• modification? which correctly modifies surplus of labor
-- Correct.: that surplus of labor "was only aggravated" [was simply/just made worse] when Operation B led to decreased demand for labor.
KEEP
-- eliminate A and B (inferior to C)
-- compare D and E to (C).

Quote:
D) The economic problem of Puerto Rico is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, which only was aggravated when Operation Bootstrap resulted in a notable decline in the demand for labor.

• (D) improves upon (A) in two meager ways
-- the awkward verb “has” is gone
-- “and it” is replaced by “which.”
-- ignore pronoun ambiguity. It’s not worth your time because (C) is a better answer.
• D is similar to A and B. “only” is still a problem, as is properly characterized
Most importantly, D is inferior to C.
Eliminate D.

Quote:
E) Puerto Rico has, properly characterized, the economic problem of a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it was only aggravated when Operation Bootstrap resulted in a notable decline in the demand for labor.

• very similar to A, B, and D.
• the placement of properly characterized is jarring
• when placed after the verb, “the” economic problem is strange and rhetorically weird.
-- Not idiomatic: The boy has the fear of spiders, not heights.
-- Better: The boy has a fear of spiders, not heights.
• E is not as good as C
Eliminate E

The answer is C

• NOTES

Keep your eyes on the prize. In other words, eliminate the four worst answers.
That process may come in "out of order." I couldn't eliminate A and B until I had read C.
I had to "double back" and strike through (A) and (B) on my paper.

If I cannot decide quickly that an option contains a fatal error, I do not keep looking for an error.
I keep the option. The other answers will give me more information than will staring at a bad sentence whose errors are slippery.
Eventually I saw that A, B, D, and E were similar, and that each was inferior to C.

COMMENTS

Tushrgupta , welcome to SC Butler. :)

A few of these explanations are really good, and a couple are outstanding.
All newcomers get kudos for their first post.
After that, in order to earn kudos, your post must explain things.
Assertion is not explanation.

I think it is hard to write explanations for questions in which options are not glaringly horrible in one or two clear ways, but just sort of all-around low-level bad.

Whatever the case, I am glad to have your posts. Happy kudos to those who explained. :)
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New post 16 Nov 2019, 01:49
I think the only correct choice is (C), in which the correct idiom "be characterized as" is used to to show the typical feature of "the economic problem Puerto Rico".
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New post 16 Nov 2019, 03:53
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The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was aggravated when the massive influx of capital that took place under Operation Bootstrap resulted in a notable decline in the demand for labor.

(A) The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was distorts parallelism, also has is not required here

(B) Properly characterized, the economic problem Peen Rico has is a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was same error as A parallelism is distorted also alters the meaning

(C) The economic problem of Puerto Rico is properly characterized not as overpopulation but as a surplus of labor, which was only correctly uses the idiom Not X but Y, maintains parallelism and conveys the right meaning

(D) The economic problem of Puerto Rico is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, which only was distorts meaning should be the surplus labor aggravated instead which refers to overpopulation and changes the meaning

(E) Puerto Rico has, properly characterized, the economic problem of a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it was only Puerto Rico had not characterized the economic problem meaning error, also the modifier error of D is repeated by placing the surplus labor first followed by not population
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New post 16 Nov 2019, 06:04
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The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was aggravated when the massive influx of capital that took place under Operation Bootstrap resulted in a notable decline in the demand for labor.

(A) The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was
the adverb "only" here should be placed so it modifies the adjective aggravated not the verb was. The impact of the placement of only on meaning is subtle but vital.While we may know that "it" should refer to labour surplus, one may assume "it" to mean overpopulation. after all who knows if decline in demand for labour has some indirect effect on population.Finally we do not need to repeat the subject in the form of the pronoun "it"

(B) Properly characterized, the economic problem Peen Rico has is a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was
Fine, The opening verbed modifier describes the economic problem but the use of "only" before the verb "was" rather than the adjective aggravated is of some concern because essentially, we want to say that the situation only got worse when something else happened .To do so "only" must be placed before aggravated. Secondly, we may not be sure of the referent for "it" : is it the labour surplus or is it overpopulation. This may not be an issue since logically it must refer to the surplus of labour. Finally, we do not need to repeat the subject in the form of a pronoun

(C) The economic problem of Puerto Rico is properly characterized not as overpopulation but as a surplus of labor, which was only
"Only" is placed before the adjective aggravated to state that the situation
only got worse when something happened. "Which" also has the proper antecedent and removes any pronoun pronoun ambiguity we might have had with A.


(D) The economic problem of Puerto Rico is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, which only was The word which illogically refers to overpopulation when it should refer to labour surplus. My main gripe though is with the modifier "only". Its placement here is wrong. Here it is placed before the verb "was" and gives the sentence a different meaning than when it is placed before the adjective "aggravated." The difference in meaning is very subtle .

(E) Puerto Rico has, properly characterized, the economic problem of a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it was only Properly characterised as a non-essential
modifier should modify the economic problem but here i do not know what it modifies
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Re: The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a sur  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Nov 2019, 12:50
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The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was aggravated when the massive influx of capital that took place under Operation Bootstrap resulted in a notable decline in the demand for labor.

Meaning: The economic problem of Puerto Rico is properly characterized not as overpopulation but as a surplus of labor.

Quote:
Option A: The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was aggravated when the massive influx of capital that took place under Operation Bootstrap resulted in a notable decline in the demand for labor.

From the way the sentence is structured, not overpopulation illogically modifies a surplus of labor as a non-essential modifier. This is not the way the idiom X not Y is structured. A comma is not required between X and not Y. This is probably nuanced, but the adverb only should rather be placed between was and aggravated and not before was. The adverb only modifies intransitive verb aggravated. I am not comfortable with properly characterized as a non-essential adverbial phrase; I feel it's better if it is presented without the commas, but I can't see any reason to justify my thought. I may be wrong but there is enough reason to eliminate option A.

Quote:
Option B: Properly characterized, the economic problem Puerto Rico has is a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was aggravated when the massive influx of capital that took place under Operation Bootstrap resulted in a notable decline in the demand for labor.

Option B has the same wrong usage of the idiom of X not Y in option A. The comma is not required between X and not Y. The adverb only should come between was and aggravated. The adverbial phrase properly characterized is still a non-essential modifier. Of course, adverbs are more flexible when it comes to their position as modifiers compared with noun modifiers, but somehow, I think it is better if it is placed right after is. Eliminate option B.

Quote:
Option C: The economic problem of Puerto Rico is properly characterized not as overpopulation but as a surplus of labor, which was only aggravated when the massive influx of capital that took place under Operation Bootstrap resulted in a notable decline in the demand for labor.

I just like everything about option C. The adverbial modifiers are placed exactly as I anticipated. only is rightly positioned between was and aggravated and properly characterized is placed right after is. The idiom not X but Y is rightly presented. Keep option C.

Quote:
Option D: The economic problem of Puerto Rico is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, which only was aggravated when the massive influx of capital that took place under Operation Bootstrap resulted in a notable decline in the demand for labor.

The same issues identified in options A and B on the correct usage of the idiom not X but Y in relation to the wrongful introduction of comma into the idiom are present in this option. In addition, the placements of the adverbs only and properly characterized are not optimal. Eliminate option D.

Quote:
Option E: Puerto Rico has, properly characterized, the economic problem of a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it was only aggravated when the massive influx of capital that took place under Operation Bootstrap resulted in a notable decline in the demand for labor.

The same issues in options A, B, and D are repeated in option E, with the exception of the adverb only which is positioned properly. Eliminate option E.

The right answer is option C.
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New post 16 Nov 2019, 14:45
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The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was aggravated when the massive influx of capital that took place under Operation Bootstrap resulted in a notable decline in the demand for labor.

(A) The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was> > it may denote overpopulation or labor or surplus, so "it" has no clear antecedent.

(B) Properly characterized, the economic problem Peen Rico has is a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was> > same error as A.

(C) The economic problem of Puerto Rico is properly characterized not as overpopulation but as a surplus of labor, which was only>> precise and no grammatical error.

(D) The economic problem of Puerto Rico is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, which only was> > "which" describes the word immediately preceding it, here overpopulation is not the intended word for which, so it is incorrect

(E) Puerto Rico has, properly characterized, the economic problem of a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it> was only >> has the economic problem is not the correct structure, it needs a main verb which is missing here. and "it" is misplaced here just as in option A and B.
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Re: The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a sur  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Nov 2019, 17:47
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The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was aggravated when the massive influx of capital that took place under Operation Bootstrap resulted in a notable decline in the demand for labor.

(A) The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was

(B) Properly characterized, the economic problem Peen Rico has is a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was

(C) The economic problem of Puerto Rico is properly characterized not as overpopulation but as a surplus of labor, which was only

(D) The economic problem of Puerto Rico is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, which only was

(E) Puerto Rico has, properly characterized, the economic problem of a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it was only[/quote]

A - Confusing structure and "only was" implies "merely was" rather than saying "further aggravated" (the latter being the intent)
B - "only was" is wrong for reason stated above
C - "which was only" is correct because it immediately follower "labor" which it's meant to modify rather than "overpopulation" - Let's keep this for now
D - "only was" is wrong
E - "the economic problem of XYZ" changes meaning since it implies there are other types of problems that might be discussed and that the economic problem isn't necessarily the central focus. "it was only" seems to be modifying "overpopulation" rather than "surplus of labor".

Answer is C by POE
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New post 16 Nov 2019, 18:24
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The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was aggravated when the massive influx of capital that took place under Operation Bootstrap resulted in a notable decline in the demand for labor.

(A) The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was
The pronoun "it" has no clear referent. The adverb "only" incorrectly modifies "it", instead of the adjective "aggravated".

(B) Properly characterized, the economic problem Peen Rico has is a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was
The pronoun "it" has no clear referent. The adverb "only" incorrectly modifies "it", instead of the adjective "aggravated".

(C) The economic problem of Puerto Rico is properly characterized not as overpopulation but as a surplus of labor, which was only
The sentence is grammatically correct and conveys the intended meaning properly.

(D) The economic problem of Puerto Rico is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, which only was
The phrase "properly characterized" should have been placed as close as possible to the subject "the economic problem of Puerto Rico". The adverb "only" incorrectly modifies "which", instead of the adjective "aggravated". The which-clause incorrectly modifies "overpopulation", instead of "a surplus of labor".

(E) Puerto Rico has, properly characterized, the economic problem of a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it was only
The active construction "Puerto Rico has characterized..." changes the intended meaning. The pronoun "it" has no clear referent.

Final answer is (C)

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Re: The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a sur  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Nov 2019, 22:12
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The question is testing on modifier and pronoun error...The modifier properly characterized should be placed close to economic problem and pronoun "it" must clearly refer Again to economic problem as done in Option C.
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Re: The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a sur  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Nov 2019, 10:19
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Quote:
The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was aggravated when the massive influx of capital that took place under Operation Bootstrap resulted in a notable decline in the demand for labor.


One has to understand what is going on in the sentence. Clearly, there is an error in the original sentence, so (A) is out.

(A) The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was

For starters, has is is a big mess. Also, what does pronoun it refer to?

(B) Properly characterized, the economic problem Peen Rico has is a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was
See explanations under (A).

(C) The economic problem of Puerto Rico is properly characterized not as overpopulation but as a surplus of labor, which was only
Clear and concise option. The problem is characterized not as A but as B. In a surplus of labor the highlighted part is a modifier, so "which" refers to surplus, not labor.

(D) The economic problem of Puerto Rico is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, which only was
which is problematic here. What does it refer to? Overpopulation? If so, then both the logic & meaning of the sentence fall apart. Also, properly characterized is placed awkwardly.

(E) Puerto Rico has, properly characterized, the economic problem of a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it was only
Again, properly characterized is not placed very well. Also, pronoun it does not have a clear antecedent.


I missed this problem and have no idea why. Option (C) is so much better than anything else! I was probably too happy about the fact that I got a much more difficult problem right just before I attempted this one :-D
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Re: The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a sur  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Nov 2019, 13:06
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The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was aggravated when the massive influx of capital that took place under Operation Bootstrap resulted in a notable decline in the demand for labor.

(A) The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was
Fragmented sentence. Looks like a jumbled up nonsensical sentence.


(B) Properly characterized, the economic problem Peen Rico has is a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it only was
"surplus of labor", "not overpopulation" and "it only was...." should not be a part of the list. Even if we accept them as part of the list, they are not parallel - prepositional phrase, noun and a clause. Awkward construction.


(C) The economic problem of Puerto Rico is properly characterized not as overpopulation but as a surplus of labor, which was only
CORRECT.

(D) The economic problem of Puerto Rico is, properly characterized, a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, which only was
Modifier "properly characterized" is placed incorrectly. Also, "which" incorrectly refers to overpopulation. This distorts the intended meaning of the sentence.


(E) Puerto Rico has, properly characterized, the economic problem of a surplus of labor, not overpopulation, and it was only
"Properly characterized" is not properly placed. :D Doesn't make sense to put it between commas. "It" doesn't have a clear antecedent. This version does not convey the intended meaning clearly.
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Re: The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a sur  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Nov 2019, 23:01
I have posted the official explanation here.
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Re: The economic problem Puerto Rico has is, properly characterized, a sur   [#permalink] 17 Nov 2019, 23:01
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