Source: Official Guide Revised GRE 1st Ed. Part 8; Section 3; #3

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In the context in which it appears, “coinages”

In the context in which it appears, “coinages” (line 9) most nearly means Whether the languages of the ancient American peoples were used for expressing abstract universal concepts can be clearly answered in the case of Nahuatl. Nahuatl, like Greek and German, is a language that allows the formation of extensive compounds. line By the combination of radicals or semantic elements, single compound words 5 can express complex conceptual relations, often of an abstract universal character. The tlamatinime (those who know) were able to use this rich stock of abstract terms to express the nuances of their thought. They also availed themselves of other forms of expression with metaphorical meaning, some probably original, some derived from Toltec coinages. Of these forms, the most characteristic in Nahuatl is the juxtaposition 10 of two words that, because they are synonyms, associated terms, or even contraries, complement each other to evoke one single idea. Used metaphorically, the juxtaposed terms connote specific or essential traits of the being they refer to, introducing a mode of poetry as an almost habitual form of expression. adaptations, creations, idiosyncrasies, pronunciations, currencies

1 Explanation

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Gravatar Chris Lele, Magoosh Tutor

Oct 9, 2012 • Comment

Amber Reynolds

Can you explain why idiosyncrasies can't work here?

Jan 13, 2016 • Reply

Adam

Hi Amber,

A "coinage" is a "new word or phrase." This is also the way it's being used in context:

"They also availed themselves of other forms of expression with metaphorical meaning, some probably original, some derived from Toltec coinages." --> We're talking about words created by the Toltecs.

So, we need a word that has to do with the invention of new words.

An "idiosyncrasy" is "a mode of behavior or thought peculiar to one individual" or "a distinctive feature of a place or thing."

I can see why this second definition might be tempting, but it doesn't have anything to do with the fact that a "coinage" is something new, something invented.

In contrast, a "creation" is by definition something new, something invented by one person or group of people. And that's why it's a better choice than "idiosyncrasy."

Hope that helps!

Jan 14, 2016 • Reply

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