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The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hung

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New post 21 Nov 2019, 03:07
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Project SC Butler: Day 194: Sentence Correction (SC1)


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The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis, who, despite ridicule and opposition, introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards, and he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, however the Royal Society dismissed his advice.


A) who, despite ridicule and opposition, introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards, and he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, however the Royal Society dismissed his advice.

B) who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed by the Royal Society

C) who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society

D) who was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed by the Royal Society, even though he introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths

E) who introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society

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The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hung  [#permalink]

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OFFICIAL EXPLANATION

Project SC Butler: Day 194: Sentence Correction (SC1)



• HIGHLIGHTS

This sentence tests parallelism, verb logic, and concision.

Option A is hard to parse.
Meaning is somewhat clear, but other than logically ordered verbs, whatever is being tested is not clear.

In such situations, I usually look for an option that looks straightforward.
I read option B, which has fewer commas. That strategy worked.

THE PROMPT

Quote:
The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis, who, despite ridicule and opposition, introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards, and he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, however the Royal Society dismissed his advice.

Shortened a little:
The first progress in combating infection was made by Dr. S, who, despite ridicule and opposition, introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards, and he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, however the Royal Society dismissed his advice.

THE OPTIONS

Quote:
A) The first progress in combating infection was made by Dr. S, who, despite ridicule and opposition [from whom], introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards, and he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, however the Royal Society dismissed his advice.

• the relative clause: the who-clause that describes Dr. S is very choppy

• ridicule and opposition from whom? Does it matter? (Not sure.)

• If Dr. S did two things (or three), then we have a compound predicate (discussed after POE)
-- we should not place a comma between the subject, who, and the second verb, was rewarded
-- almost always, we do not repeat the subject at all before the second verb
-- always, we do not repeat the subject WHO by using the pronoun he
-- in fact, IF we were allowed to repeat the subject, we would use WHO two times, not who and he

This error may be hard to see but it is fatal.
Wrong: One of the best essayists of the 20th century was James Balwin, who wrote incandescent prose and he deployed words with both brutal honesty and genuine tenderness.
Corrected: One of the best essayists of the 20th century was James Balwin, who wrote incandescent prose and [who] deployed words with both brutal honesty and genuine tenderness.

however cannot be used as a conjunction to join two independent clauses.
(The word however can be used when two sentences are joined by a semicolon. However follows the semicolon. Comma? No.)
-- We could use comma + but: "... he was rewarded by a decline in deaths, but the Royal Society dismissed his advice."
-- However could be used in a separate sentence: ". .. he was rewarded by a decline in deaths. The Royal Society, however, dismissed his advice."

• Meaning? Very rough.
-- Dr. S was the first person to make progress in combating infection.
-- he required handwashing of everyone entering the maternity ward
-- He was rewarded for his efforts* (rewarded is okay): maternal and fetal deaths plummeted
-- He faced opposition and ridicule (from whom and when?)
-- Despite the doctor's success, the Royal Society dismissed his advice

• what is being tested? Hard to tell.
-- sentence structure (verbs should be placed logically; we may or may not need commas; we need a less choppy sentence)
Eliminate A

Quote:
B) The first progress in combating infection was made by Dr. S, who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed by the Royal Society.

• option (B) tells me what else is being tested: parallelism (ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed)
• "and [was]" is wrong.
-- "and" implies no contrast. The absence of contrast is fatally illogical.
-- we should say, "Something great was achieved by Dr. S, who did XYZ, but he was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed by the Royal Society."
-- active voice switches to passive voice. ... who reduced . . . and [who] was ridiculed (may not be avoidable)
Eliminate B (If you are not sure, keep B and compare it to the other options)

Quote:
C) The first progress in combating infection was made by Dr. S, who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society.

• This option cures every problem present in options A and B
• I see no errors

• we are dealing with a very long relative clause (the who-clause). Although it is long, the relative clause is efficient and grammatical.
-- the verbs and verbals describe how Dr. S made progress in combating infection.
Progress was made by Dr. S, who reduced deaths by introducing ABC for everyone
-- then the word despite, a preposition, adds the necessary contrast

• the words ridicule, opposition, and dismissal are nouns, not present tense verbs.
-- ridicule is tricky! Google the definition. It can be both a noun and a present tense verb.
-- but look closely: there is no such verb as "to opposition." There is no such verb as "to dismissal."
The verbs for those words are oppose and dismiss.

The word despite is a preposition that must be followed by nouns.
-- Despite is correctly followed by parallel nouns in (C): ridicule, opposition, and dismissal
KEEP. (And without doubt, eliminate A. Option C is grammatical, logical, and concise.)

Quote:
D) The first progress in combating infection was made by Dr. S, who was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed by the Royal Society, even though he introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths.

• option (C) is much better. (Stop. Move on. Options C and D are not even close; option C is far superior.)
• possibly grammatical but a rhetorical disaster
• illogical
-- In the relative (who) clause, the order of information is illogical and should be reversed.
The intro sentence describes combating infection.
The next thing we should read about is how Dr. S combated infection, not what the Royal Society did.
• not concise. Option C says exactly the same thing in a more logical way using fewer words.
Now we know, for example, that "was rewarded with a plunge in" can be written as "reduced"
Eliminate D

Quote:
E) The first progress in combating infection was made by Dr. S, who introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society.

• Option C is better.
• Although more logical than (D), option E does not fix option D's lack of concision.
The words was rewarded with a plunge in [deaths], for example, can be shortened to "reduced deaths."
Eliminate E

The best answer is C

• NOTES

Compound predicate
-- the predicate of a sentence is the verb and verb phrase
-- when one subject does two things, we have a compound predicate
Stephanie returned phone calls and doodled on paper.
-- almost always, when we deal with a compound predicate, we do not put a comma between the second verb and the subject
-- almost always, we do not repeat the subject or use a pronoun to repeat the subject
Correct: Stephanie returned phone calls and doodled on paper.
Wrong 99% of the time: Stephanie returned phone calls, and doodled on paper.
Usually wrong: Stephanie returned phone calls, and she doodled on paper.

In option A, the subject who did two things:
(1) introduced mandatory handwashing and
(2) was rewarded with a decline in deaths.
A comma should not separate the second verb, was rewarded, from the subject, who
The subject, who, should not be repeated. (And the subject certainly should not be repeated with the wrong pronoun.)

• using another option
-- if moving forward from option A before you understand the meaning makes you nervous, do not use my suggestion that you look at another option
-- if your nerves can stand doing so, the next time you encounter a convoluted option A in which neither meaning nor issues are clear, try a different option.
Option B clarified meaning and revealed much more about what was being tested.

COMMENTS

rohitchayal , you asked
Quote:
Can a relative pronoun be parallel to pronoun?
[/quote]
I think you are asking about option A and whether the use of he is allowed when the subject is who.
I answered above, but once again: no.

Doer01 , it's okay that you changed your mind even though you had the correct answer the first time.
You were the only one to choose C. Good instincts. Trust them. :)

This question is hard, but I am wondering whether laser focus exacerbated the difficulty.

Whatever was the case, I am very glad to see that brave people posted answers.
Everyone gets kudos for doing so. :)


**
The word rewarded is not wrong.
Rewarded can mean "to receive a benefit as a result of doing something."
Correct: Her hard work was rewarded by admission to a top business school.
See here and here
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Re: The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hung  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Nov 2019, 05:10
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Quote:
The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis, who, despite ridicule and opposition, introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards, and he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, however the Royal Society dismissed his advice.


Hi,
IMO C.
I took 5 minutes to narrow it down to C. I'll try my best to justify my answer. I hope I am right.
Meaning: Ignaz Semmelweis was a Hungarian doctor who initiated a practice of washing hands before entering maternal wards. As a result, the death rates plunged. Royal society, despite the plunge, dismissed his advice.

Quote:
A) who introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society
Meaning error. reward is something that is personal such as dismissal.

Quote:
B) who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed by the Royal Society
I do not think this one has any grammatical errors. reduced is parallel to was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed. This choice just misses the contrast. Keep it for now.

Quote:
C) who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society
This, according to me, presents contrast that is missed in B. Despite ridicule, opposition and dismissal by the Royal society, he introduced.....Keep it too.

Quote:
D) who was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed by the Royal Society, even though he introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths
Same meaning error as A.

Quote:
E) who, despite ridicule and opposition, introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards, and he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, however the Royal Society dismissed his advice.

This should have been choice A. Same as A, reward is personal. One could be rewarded with something for doing a good deed. A plunge is not a reward, its a result of an action.

At this point, I was very very confused between B and C, but keeping contrast factor in mind, I chose C.

generis , Choice A and E seem to be swapped.

Edit: I'd like to change my answer to B.
Why?
Well, If we use C, sentence would mean that despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society, he reduced...... This is not the intended meaning.
B is better, even though there is no contrast. But do we need one?

The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis,
who A:reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards
and
B:was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed by the Royal Society.
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Re: The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hung  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Nov 2019, 08:29
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generis wrote:
The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis, who, despite ridicule and opposition, introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards, and he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, however the Royal Society dismissed his advice.

A) who introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society
B) who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed by the Royal Society
C) who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society
D) who was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed by the Royal Society, even though he introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths
E) who, despite ridicule and opposition, introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards, and he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, however the Royal Society dismissed his advice.


MEANING
The first progress in combating infection was made by H, who reduced deaths and was ridiculed by R.

A) "rewarded with a plunge in deaths" is weird; "ridicule" is the present, R mocked H in the past;
C) "ridicule, opposition,…" are in the present, these things happened in the past;
D) "rewarded with a plunge in deaths" is weird;
E) "who introduced…and he was" not parallel; "rewarded with a plunge in deaths" is weird;

Ans (B)
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The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hung  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Nov 2019, 09:49
Doer01 wrote:
generis , Choice A and E seem to be swapped.

Doer01 , they were swapped. I fixed them. Thanks for the heads up. :)
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The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hung  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Nov 2019, 09:59
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The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis, who, despite ridicule and opposition, introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards, and he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, however the Royal Society dismissed his advice.


A) who introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society
This an unsatisfying answer to me but it will have to do. I believe it carries the meaning well while avoiding the error in E .

B) who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed by the Royal Society
While there is nothing grammatically wrong,I believe the meaning isn't properly carried through. He introduced hand washing despite ridicule and opposition. he did not introduce handwashing and then was also opposed and ridiculed

C) who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society who was opposed and ridiculed: those who performed the handwashing or our Hungarian doctor

D) who was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed by the Royal Society, even though he introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths
He wasn't ridiculed and opposed even though he did something.Rather, he introduced handwashing in the face of ridicule and opposition

E) who, despite ridicule and opposition, introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards, and he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, however the Royal Society dismissed his advice.
However here is meant to replace but. We can't use however to replace but bybhsing just a comma.To do so, we would need a full stop or a semi colon after fetal deaths.After the however, we would then need a comma.Like this : ......DEATHS,HOWEVER,
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Re: The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hung  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Nov 2019, 12:44
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The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis, who, despite ridicule and opposition, introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards, and he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, however the Royal Society dismissed his advice.

Meaning: Doctor Ignaz Semmelweis made the first progress in combating infection in 1847. He reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards. He was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed by the Royal Society.

A) who, despite ridicule and opposition, introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards, and he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, however the Royal Society dismissed his advice.
The clause he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths is illogical. We can say his effort was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths. Perhaps the clause could be he was rewarded for a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths. Apart from this, this sentence is a run-on. he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths and however the Royal Society dismissed his advice are two main clauses joined by a comma. Eliminate A.

B) who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed by the Royal Society
Correct. This option is abridged, so I was quite skeptical about its correctness as it omits a number of details that were in the main sentence. I couldn't find any option that is better, hence my choice of option B. The parallelism is okay. reduced is rightly parallel to was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed.

C) who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society
This option is very similar to option B. The only difference is that option C does not express the ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society parallel to reduced maternal and fetal deaths. Instead, it is expressed as a contrast. I, however, prefer the parallel structure in option B compared to option C. I will patiently wait for the OE.

D) who was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed by the Royal Society, even though he introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths.
The parallelism is okay between introduced and was rewarded. But the meaning of he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths is still illogical as in option A. We can, therefore, stand on this ground to eliminate option D. I would have opted for this option if not for the illogical meaning portrayed by he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths

E) who introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society
The same illogical meaning exists in option E as well.

I don't know whether this can be a ground to eliminate options A, C, and E but according to the VAN principle, when it comes to concision, verbs are preferred followed by adjectives, and finally nouns. When you look at how the fact that Dr. Ignaz was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed by the Royal Society, Options B and D use adjectives (i.e. verb-ed modifiers) while options A, C, and E use nouns. So in a way, option B can be considered more concise than option C.

I am going with option B.
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Re: The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hung  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Nov 2019, 13:30
Can a relative pronoun be parallel to pronoun?

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Re: The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hung  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Nov 2019, 16:47
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The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis, who, despite ridicule and opposition, introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards, and he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, however the Royal Society dismissed his advice.


A) who, despite ridicule and opposition, introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards, and he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, however the Royal Society dismissed his advice.> he has no clear antecedent. Shouldn't 'however' be separated by a ';'?

B) who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed by the Royal Society > precise and correct.

C) who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society > despite should be followed by a clause, not nouns.

D) who was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed by the Royal Society, even though he introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths> distorts meaning of the original sentence.

E) who introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society > same problem as C
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Re: The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hung  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2019, 19:01
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The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis, who, despite ridicule and opposition, introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards, and he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, however the Royal Society dismissed his advice.

This is a Meaning based question.


A) who, despite ridicule and opposition, introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards, and he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, however the Royal Society dismissed his advice.

he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths - This is incorrect meaning, he wasnt rewarded rather it was an outcome of his action.

B) who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed by the Royal Society.

Seems okay- Keep

C) who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society

Although a contrast word makes more sense than a parallel construction for the intended meaning, I think there is an issue here. The contrast shall be "Introducing CH" despite " ridicule, opposition, and dismissal".
However, the way it is phrased here it seems the contrast is "who reduced maternal and fetal deaths" despite " ridicule, opposition, and dismissal"
This is due to the passive nature of the construction, would like to know more from master generis.

D) who was ridiculed, opposed, and dismissed by the Royal Society, even though he introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths

was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths - Again incorrect.

E) who introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards and was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society
was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths - Incorrect
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New post 22 Nov 2019, 20:05
I have posted the official explanation here
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Re: The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hung  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2019, 21:12
hero_with_1000_faces wrote:
The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis, who, despite ridicule and opposition, introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards, and he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, however the Royal Society dismissed his advice.

C) who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society

Although a contrast word makes more sense than a parallel construction for the intended meaning, I think there is an issue here. The contrast shall be "Introducing CH" despite " ridicule, opposition, and dismissal".
However, the way it is phrased here it seems the contrast is "who reduced maternal and fetal deaths" despite " ridicule, opposition, and dismissal"
This is due to the passive nature of the construction, would like to know more from master generis.

Hi hero_with_1000_faces , you wrote
Quote:
However, the way (C) is phrased here it seems the contrast is "who reduced maternal and fetal deaths" despite " ridicule, opposition, and dismissal"

I am not sure that I understand your question completely.

You removed one prepositional phrase (a very long one!). Why not remove the other one?

The first ABC was Dr. S,
who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society.


I can't think of "reduced maternal and fetal deaths" without the by phrase (the very long "by" phrase).
No comma precedes the word "by."

I wonder whether "despite" does not strike people as a contrast word. Or perhaps the word does not seem strong enough?
We could write something such as
The first ABC was Dr. S,
who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by washing his hands with rubbing alcohol despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society.


Does that version seem better?

We can't just take out one prepositional phrases as you did. :)
Or, if you're going to remove the preposition "by," then remove "despite," too. (I'm kidding. Don't remove either one.)

Yes, you are 100% correct about the passive structure and its contribution to confusion.
We don't know who is responsible for the ridicule, opposition, and dismissal until after the nouns.

A long prepositional phrase frequently "gets" test takers.

The word "despite," by the way, is a bit controversial. The word is used by GMAC.

One linguist whose work I admire (and who is hilarious) says that "despite" is "an unproductive word" that is "hard to fathom."

I would say that we need to get rid of the four worst answers and not try to rewrite the one that remains.
Doing the latter is very tempting—just ask me. (As an editor, I am sometimes made slightly crazy by the correct answers.)

I think this question may present a good lesson:
When we see a long prepositional phrase,
(1) the sentence will sound strange, and
(2) we should be on guard because we are not likely to analyze it "instinctively."

We do not often see sentences with phrases like those in this sentence.

I hope that answer helps.
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Re: The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hung  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2019, 02:02
generis wrote:
hero_with_1000_faces wrote:
The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis, who, despite ridicule and opposition, introduced compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards, and he was rewarded with a plunge in maternal and fetal deaths, however the Royal Society dismissed his advice.

C) who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society

Although a contrast word makes more sense than a parallel construction for the intended meaning, I think there is an issue here. The contrast shall be "Introducing CH" despite " ridicule, opposition, and dismissal".
However, the way it is phrased here it seems the contrast is "who reduced maternal and fetal deaths" despite " ridicule, opposition, and dismissal"
This is due to the passive nature of the construction, would like to know more from master generis.

Hi hero_with_1000_faces , you wrote
Quote:
However, the way (C) is phrased here it seems the contrast is "who reduced maternal and fetal deaths" despite " ridicule, opposition, and dismissal"

I am not sure that I understand your question completely.

You removed one prepositional phrase (a very long one!). Why not remove the other one?

The first ABC was Dr. S,
who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society.


I can't think of "reduced maternal and fetal deaths" without the by phrase (the very long "by" phrase).
No comma precedes the word "by."

I wonder whether "despite" does not strike people as a contrast word. Or perhaps the word does not seem strong enough?
We could write something such as
The first ABC was Dr. S,
who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by washing his hands with rubbing alcohol despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society.


Does that version seem better?

We can't just take out one prepositional phrases as you did. :)
Or, if you're going to remove the preposition "by," then remove "despite," too. (I'm kidding. Don't remove either one.)

Yes, you are 100% correct about the passive structure and its contribution to confusion.
We don't know who is responsible for the ridicule, opposition, and dismissal until after the nouns.

A long prepositional phrase frequently "gets" test takers.

The word "despite," by the way, is a bit controversial. The word is used by GMAC.

One linguist whose work I admire (and who is hilarious) says that "despite" is "an unproductive word" that is "hard to fathom."

I would say that we need to get rid of the four worst answers and not try to rewrite the one that remains.
Doing the latter is very tempting—just ask me. (As an editor, I am sometimes made slightly crazy by the correct answers.)

I think this question may present a good lesson:
When we see a long prepositional phrase,
(1) the sentence will sound strange, and
(2) we should be on guard because we are not likely to analyze it "instinctively."

We do not often see sentences with phrases like those in this sentence.

I hope that answer helps.




Thank You for your detailed response.
generis


My question is the contrast is between which two things

C) who reduced maternal and fetal deaths by introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society

I think it is between "introducing compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards" and "despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal by the Royal Society"

My problem with this construction is the fact that the way it written seems to contrast "who reduced maternal and fetal deaths (this Phrase is before by)" despite "ridicule, opposition, and dismissal (this is before phrase before by)"

Rather, I think the intended meaning requires contraste between "Introduction despite ridicule"
which means "Introduction of compulsory handwashing for everyone entering the maternal wards despite ridicule, opposition, and dismissal"

I hope I am clear my with question. Thank you
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New post 23 Nov 2019, 10:26
Hi generis, thanks much for posting the OE. The sentence is very tough. I am actually surprised that about 50% of the people answered it correctly. I was quite confused by the meaning of the sentence, and your advice "try another option" is very good.

It will be interesting to observe how often "try another option" might be useful in OG questions.

On a side note, few minuted after reading the explanation I attempted an official question [ SPOILER ], which man de me thinking about this structure

Quote:
-- almost always, we do not repeat the subject or use a pronoun to repeat the subject

Quote:
Stephanie returned phone calls and she doodled on paper.


I guess it is correct to repeat the subject in certain cases. What are your thoughts?
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The first progress in combating infection was made in 1847 by the Hung   [#permalink] 23 Nov 2019, 10:26
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