Source: Revised GRE PDF 1st Ed. Section 4: Verbal; #8 (p. 62)

2

But they pay little attention to the opposite

But they pay little attention to the opposite and more treacherous failing: false certainty, refusing to confess their mistakes and implicitly claiming (i) , thereby embarrassing the nation and undermining the Constitution, which established various mechanisms of self-correction on the premise that even the wisest men are sometimes wrong and need, precisely when they find it most (ii) , the benefit of (iii) process. Blank (i): infallibility, immunity, impartiality Blank (ii): discomfiting, expedient, imminent Blank (iii): an adaptable, a remedial, an injudicious

3 Explanations

1

Mabel Shiu

Why doesn't "expedient" work here for (ii)? I was between expedient and discomfiting but selected expedient since it related to "taking the easy road even if immoral" which seems to fit perfectly with refusing to admit to mistakes in court. Could you help me understand why discomfiting is the right answer?

Dec 2, 2018 • Comment

Sam Kinsman, Magoosh Tutor

Happy to help!

Let's look at the relevant part of the sentence:

...even the wisest men are sometimes wrong and need, precisely when they find it most (ii) ______ , the benefit of (iii) ______ process.

So when wise men are wrong, they need the benefit of being corrected. Now, when would they need this benefit the most?

Could we say that they need this benefit when "they find it most "expedient"? This would be saying that wise men who are wrong need be corrected especially when they (the wise men) find it expedient. In other words, wise men who are wrong need be corrected especially when they (the wise men) find it convenient and practical. So people who are wrong need to be corrected when they think it is convenient for them to be corrected. That doesn't really make sense. Why should they only be corrected when they find it convenient to be corrected - in other words, only when they want to be corrected? This doesn't quite add up.

Now let's think about "discomfiting," which means "make someone feel embarrassed." Could we say that wise men need the benefit of being corrected when "they find it most embarrassing? This would be saying that wise men who are wrong need be corrected especially when they (the wise men) are very wrong, and would thus be embarrassed by the correction. This makes sense, because when someone is very wrong, it is important to correct them! Also, if someone would be very embarrassed by being wrong, it means that he / she is unlikely to notice that they are wrong all by themselves. Therefore, it is important that they be corrected.

I hope this makes it clearer why discomfiting works best here!

Dec 5, 2018 • Reply

1

Jessica Wilson

Would you be able to explain in more detail why immunity isn't the right answer for the first blank.
Immunity: Law Exemption from normal legal duties, penalties, or liabilities, granted to a special group of people: legislative immunity.

Jun 23, 2017 • Comment

Adam

Hi Jessica,

The key here is that they are claiming to be correct, and certain, when in fact they make mistakes. This points most strongly to "infallibility"; someone who claims to be infallible claims to never make mistakes.

"Immunity" isn't as well-supported. From what would they be immune, legally? They aren't being accused of any crime; people are just saying that they made mistakes, and they're saying that they don't make mistakes — that they are infallible.

Does that make sense?

Jun 25, 2017 • Reply

2

Gravatar Chris Lele, Magoosh Tutor

Sep 26, 2012 • Comment

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