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Reading Comprehension: Style and Tone Questions

The attitude of the author of the passage toward the difference between economical unemployment terms and real-life situations is best described as



The word condoning means regarding or treating something bad or blameworthy as acceptable, forgivable, or harmless, i.e., forgiving. It is too strong a word to describe the author's attitude because it implies that economists did something wrong or are responsible for a crime which had to be condoned by the author.



Although the author claims that the terms coined by the economists may be unclear, the author's attitude toward them is in no way unclear or ambivalent.



There is no need to consult the passage in order to see that this answer choice is incorrect. The word argumentative can and should be automatically eliminated as it is outside the scope of acceptable attitudes of passage authors. Argumentative? Our cool, objective, author? Oh no.



Note that the question asks that about the author's attitude regarding the differences between economical terms and everyday life situations. It would be wrong to characterize the author's attitude about the difference as positive - the author does not think that the difference is a positive thing. Rather, the author is positive about the use of the terms themselves, even if they do not always accurately reflect real life situations. If the question had asked about the author's attitude towards the use of economical to describe everyday situations (despite the difference), D would've been correct.

Did you read all five answer choices before choosing an answer?



The author addresses the terminology problem with a practical approach and points out that although the terms are not exact, they serve an important function in the economical debate.

Good! That's what you should have done! Better luck next time!

This is probably why you got this question wrong.

The lesson to be learned here is to read all answer choices before choosing one. Even if you think you have found the perfect answer, look at the remaining answer choices and make sure they're not as good or better.

Saving time is important, and is done by applying the method you were taught earlier: read only the relevant bits of the passage and not all of it. The time spent on reading all five answer choices is time well spent as it significantly increases your chances of answering the question correctly.  

condoning and accepting
ambivalent and unclear
challenging and argumentative
positive yet reserved
functional and practical
No. I stopped after this one because it seemed correct.