Wednesday, October 22, 2008

explanations offered to the exposition

Okay, quick. Take this SAT question. Answer. If you selected D, you were right and should consider re-taking the test after all these years. Do you even remember the damned things? I remember the pencil. It hurt to hold it so tightly for so long. I remember having a mantra that I would repeat to myself so that I would concentrate and do well. I remember having the mantra but I forget the mantra. (The thing about mantras.)

Yes, D is correct. I bring this to you from an email I receive every morning at 6 AM. Think about being greeting by such a thing in your inbox upon awaking. It's for my son who is in the SAT season and this is the extent of his prep: I print out "Your SAT question of the day" for him, along with the answer, and he does them at breakfast. Like a vitamin, one a day. Or an innoculation against incorrectness.

D is correct, they SAT folks tell you, because the words filling the blanks are supposed to be opposites. If explanations are one thing, it is unfair to treat them as the opposite. They are incidental and cannot be treated as the opposite of incidental, namely essential. Got it?

By the time I myself "took" the question, 4,459 others had tried their hand at answering. That's a lot for this early in the morning. I'm printing it out for my son and in order to get to the answer page, which I also print for him, I have to click on an answer (usually I choose randomly, just to get to the answer page and unconcerned about getting the right answer for myself!). On the answer page they show you a pie chart of the correct and incorrect answers so far. A whopping 56% got this one wrong.

I would opt for F if I had the opportunity. Leave the adjectives out. Here's the result:

Since the explanations offered are to the exposition, it would be unfair to treat them as parts of the studies under consideration.

Who needs this kind of lame opposition anyway? Frankly, I think the "correct" answer seems intended to make lawyers out of all our children. I'm being entirely serious. I'm putting my incorrect parental shoulder to the wheel!