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Human nature and long distances have made exceeding the speed limit a (i)__ in the state, so the legislators surprised no one when, acceding to public demand, they (ii)__ increased penalties for speeding.

(i)
A. controversial habit
B. cherished tradition
C. disquieting ritual

(ii)
D. endorsed
E. considered
F. rejected

The correct answer are B & F. But I just wonder what is wrong if I select A & D? I think the sentence still makes sense and correct grammatically.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

One problem with

Human nature and long distances have made exceeding the speed limit a controversial habit in the state, so the legislators surprised no one when, acceding to public demand, they endorsed increased penalties for speeding

is that it is not clear how human nature and long distances could be at the root of a controversial habit. Long distances might make speeding a habit, but what makes it controversial? Neither of those two factors seem to make for controversy.

Another problem is that having the legislators endorse greater penalties would not be a natural expectation caused by the controversial habit. If there was controversy over whether speeding was a problem or not, there would not be clear public demand for the legislators to accede to, and it would not be a foregone conclusion that the politicians would endorse higher penalties for it.

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2  
I think the key is really in the phrase "surprised no one" and agree with you and pageman on that point. For the first part of your explanation I do not agree - human nature and long distances can make exceeding the speed limit a controversial habit in the same manner as they can make it a cherished tradition: by assuming that it is in human nature to break speed limits (esp. over long distances) you will definitively have a controversy on your hands (legislation vs human nature). It is actually the cherished tradition that is harder to establish. However, it does make more sense overall. –  Unreason May 16 '11 at 8:18
    
It seems strange to connect 'speeding' and 'tradition'. Everything else is OK (about the GRE question/answer and your explanation). –  Mitch May 16 '11 at 12:40

It would make sense grammatically but it wouldn't make sense when you consider causality — as mgkrebbs pointed out; the legislation should be a function of public demand — choosing A would make the causal choice of D ambiguous (and therefore the qualifier "surprised no one" wouldn't make any sense).

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Human nature and long distances have made exceeding the speed limit a (i)__ in the state, so the legislators surprised no one when, acceding to public demand, they (ii)__ increased penalties for speeding.

For first blank some thing should come which is liked by public, out of:- A. controversial habit B. cherished tradition C. disquieting ritual

B seems the best choice

For the second blank, adhering to public demand some step is taken, now its a cherished tradition to exceed the speed limit, then public demands will be to decrease/remove(a negative word) the penalities

D. endorsed E. considered F. rejected

only F is a negative word, B & F is the solution according to me.

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