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The modern rise of mobile, social, and location-based

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Re: The modern rise of mobile, social, and location-based  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Mar 2014, 00:18
GMATPill wrote:
The modern rise of mobile, social, and location-based technologies has allowed humans to become more tech-savvy now than at any time in their history.

(A) more tech-savvy now than at any time in their

(B) more tech-savvy than they were at any time in their

(C) more tech-savvy than those at any other time in

(D) more tech-savvy than those at any other time in their

(E) more tech-savvy now than at any time in

I have a query.I selected (B).. I compared the same "humans" now and their past. But according to the correct choice (C) different humans are being compared " humans now" and " humans in the past". How will we decide that? whats wrong with (B)?
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Re: The modern rise of mobile, social, and location-based  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Mar 2014, 06:29
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hi akankshasoneja,

You've actually sort of answered the question yourself.

The key thing is to remember that the same 'human' can't have been alive now and in the past.

So we're comparing one set of humans, with another.

This means that C is the correct answer.

Does that make sense?

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Re: The modern rise of mobile, social, and location-based  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2015, 06:28
IMO, this question is terrible. In fact, the current version on GMAT Pill's website (http://www.gmatpill.com/gmat-practice-t ... stion/1221) adds other issues to E so that C becomes the best answer. An official comment even says that it would be okay to use the form of E.

Even with the change, however, I think C still fails. Here's why:

We use "those" in a comparison to refer to something apart from our discussion. For example, "these are mine, but those are yours." Another example, "These humans are taller than those humans."

In C, we have a comparison and "those" is referring to "humans", but that would only make sense if we are referring to two distinct groups. So you might say that we are, right? Humans now and humans at other times? Well the problem with this is that we never identify the first group to be distinct from "those" humans at other times.

When we talk about a species, we refer to the entire group at once, unless we quantify it. For example, "humans have been around for 200,000 years" refers to all humans at all times.

Applying this to the question, we see that the sentence with answer C again refers to all humans at all times because it never qualifies or quantifies humans - it just says that "technology has allowed humans" to do something. This creates a problem when we compare humans in general (it's not specific in C because C doesn't keep "now") to those at other times.

That's almost like telling 10 students that they as a group are smarter than a subset of 3 of them -while that could mathematically work, the intended meaning is more likely to be comparing a subset to a subset, as it is for this question. That's not exactly the same but I hope it's close enough to demonstrate why it's wrong to compare a whole group to a subset of that group in this case.

So we could properly write the sentence in at least these two different ways:

* The modern rise of mobile, social, and location-based technologies has allowed today's humans to be more tech-savvy than those at any other time in history.

If we want to keep "those", we can't continue to refer to humans as a group and then compare all of them to a subset. This formulation fixes it by restricting the initial humans to "today's humans" only.

We might also say "humans now" or something else, but that might not identify the correct group as well as this for a few reasons.

* The modern rise of mobile, social, and location-based technologies has allowed humans to become more tech-savvy now than at any other time in history.

This works because, while it's still taking about humans in general, it keeps that throughout. You can read it as "has allowed humans to become more tech-savvy now than (they have been) at any other time in history." This is good because we are referring to all humans as the human species and we compare a characteristic of the group "now" to a characteristic of the group at "any other time". We do this a lot when referring to species. For example "giraffes are taller now than ever before" or "giraffes are taller now than they ever have been".

This is almost E in this version of the question (again, GMAT Pill has a different E to make it more wrong), but E losses the proper time comparison by omitting "other" (so it compares a characteristic of humans now to a characteristic of humans at all times).

The moral of the story? Don't use non-official GMAT sentence correction questions because many of them are fatally flawed. For this one, all answers fail. Just because some "expert" gives you an explanation, that doesn't mean it is correct.

Also, as a side note, ambiguity should be the last thing that you consider. Many questions have ambiguous pronouns in the correct answers. That's okay because ambiguity is like being concise. Failing to do so doesn't make it incorrect, it just makes it less preferable if other answers are also grammatically ok and also have the correct meaning.
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The modern rise of mobile, social, and location-based  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2015, 08:01
The GMAT Pill’s example is a poor replica of the another GMATPREP question given below.

Quote:
Today’s technology allows manufacturers to make small cars more fuel-efficient now than at any time in their production history.

(A) small cars more fuel-efficient now than at any time in their

(B) small cars that are more fuel-efficient than they were at any time in their

(C) small cars that are more fuel-efficient than those at any other time in

(D) more fuel-efficient small cars than those at any other time in their

(E) more fuel-efficient small cars now than at any time in


The OA is also C in the GMATPREP example.

Be that as it may, still the use of 'their' in A, B and D gives us a handle to suspect them, even though ambiguity may not be too critical in GMAT domain. Yet, when there is an another crystal clear and explicit choice, without an element of ambiguity as by the use of ‘those’ as in ‘C”, I would reckon the handle works out well in the process of elimination. But what is problematic in E is the use of ‘modern rise and now', a serious flaw of redundancy. In addition, E does not use the word 'other' which is a must for comparison between two factors. These two elements are sufficient to make E incorrect and I don’t think GMAT Pill has to go any further to make E more flawed. .

All said and done, GMAT Pill could have been more earnest than just presenting old wine in a new bottle.
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The modern rise of mobile, social, and location-based  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2015, 08:58
Thanks for the GMATPrep source - I knew it sounded familiar.

GMATPrep's version doesn't have the GMAT Pill comparison error because "small cars *that are* more fuel-efficient" refers to the specific, instead of the general, all cars as a category
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Re: The modern rise of mobile, social, and location-based  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jul 2017, 05:18
Merged topics. Please, search before posting questions!
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Re: The modern rise of mobile, social, and location-based  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Nov 2018, 03:06
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: The modern rise of mobile, social, and location-based &nbs [#permalink] 27 Nov 2018, 03:06

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