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The sentence is from the Official Guide for the GRE General test:

Here, we must determine what word should indicate something that the author is praised for not permitting.

I can not fully understand this sentence. I tried to rephrase it into two shorter sentences, but I failed to manage the second one:

We must determine what word should indicate something.
Something ...

How should I understand the clause "the author is praised for not permitting"?

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I've linked OP's text to the original. Specifically, the author does not permit political disputes about the effects of human activities on climate and biodiversity to obscure his comprehensive description of what we know about our biosphere. – FumbleFingers Mar 13 '12 at 23:20
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I believe this is a shortening for the sake of how the sentence would otherwise hit the ear, the long form being

Here, we must determine what word should indicate something that the author is praised for for not permitting.

The author is praised for it for not permitting it. See also @jhocking's answer.

I think it would parse better if something were instead some thing.

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The word "something" in this context refers to an action. Specifically, an action that the author is not permitting. Even more specifically, the author was praised for not permitting that action to occur.

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