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New GRE Sentence Equivalence: Practice Question of the Week #24 Answer

Here’s the answer to yesterday’s practice question, thanks for sending in all of your answers!

Select exactly two words that best complete the sentence and produce sentences that are alike in meaning.

Faulkner’s work during his most prolific period, the 1930s, approximates the buoyantly conservative tone of Southern Regionalism in general and also indirectly characterizes its __________ “progress.”

  1. affinity for
  2. sanguineness regarding
  3. skepticism of
  4. bitterness about
  5. aggression toward
  6. repudiation of
Answers: (C) skepticism of and (F) repudiation of are the credited responses.

The key words in this sentence are buoyantly conservative, Southern Regionalism, and progress.

The conservatism of Southern Regionalism precludes a positive attitude toward “progress,” according to the context.

The words sought here must denote some sort of negativity. (C) skepticism and (F) repudiation do this work: both suggest refusal.

(D) bitterness about may be a good selection in other contexts, but there is no other choice that resembles its meaning; bitterness about suggests a feeling toward “progress” that has already occurred; the passage suggests resistance that would keep “progress” from occurring.


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4 Responses to New GRE Sentence Equivalence: Practice Question of the Week #24 Answer

  1. Shree June 30, 2012 at 6:12 am #

    Its a little confusing, you could say C and E too, “skepticism” means being doubtful (on purpose maybe?) which could come out of “bitterness”,

    repudiation on the other hand means a complete rejection of something. What i don’t get is, how can C and F give a similar meaning to the sentence?
    And how does bitterness imply a feeling towards “progress which has already happened”?
    It might as well suggest resistance..

    • Chris Lele
      Chris July 2, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

      I agree – ‘skepticism’ and ‘repudiation’ do create different meanings.

      ‘Bitterness’ and ‘skepticism’ definitely do not match. The two words are very different. For that reason, ‘skepticism’ and ‘repudiation’ are closer; one is the extreme form of the other. A better match with skepticism would be ‘mistrust.’

      Thanks for pointing that out 🙂

      • Divya August 28, 2013 at 2:52 am #

        Chris, could you please explain the function of the quotation marks around progress again?

        The clue ‘conservative’ tipped me off that the blank should be negative. However, when I saw the quotation marks around progress, i thought since the word progress is being used in an ironic way, the blank will have to be a positive word to retain the overall negative meaning (since when we are being ironic we say the opposite of what we mean.)

        So I chose affinity and sanguine as they were the only positive words in the list, even though sanguine seemed to fit very ill and the two are not synonyms. I tried to just check for synonyms in the list but skepticism and repudiation seemed very different in meaning.

        Had there been no quotation marks around progress, I would simply have chosen two negative words for the blank. I’m so confused with this question, please help!

        Thank you

        • Chris Lele
          Chris Lele August 28, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

          Hi Divya,

          I think the key here is extrapolating that conservatives are going to be skeptical of progress. For instance, genetic screening–something you and I would most likely consider progress–would be viewed by the conservatives as something that is anything but progress (hence the quotation marks–“progress.”). Their attitude would thus be negative (skepticism/repudiation) and not cheerful/optimistic. The irony is already captured with the quotation marks, so there is no need to reverse the meaning of the words in the blank.

          Hope that helps!

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