8 Right and Wrong Language
Our problem now is, to look at some of the ways in which we are supposed to be speaking wrongly, and to see whether there really exists a choice between “right” and “wrong”, and, if so, what “right” and “wrong” consist of. Our first approach may be made through very ordinary, everyday instances of “mistakes” like I ain’t, he don’t, we seen him, you done it or hisn. Most of us know that these are condemned as "errors", when used instead of the corresponding I am not or I’m not, he doesn’t, we saw him, you did it, his. But what is it that makes them “mistakes” or “errors”? If we drive through a traffic light, steal somebody’s property, or kill someone, we know exactly what provides sanctions against these actions: the law of the land; and we know what will punish us if we disobey the law: the government. Is there any law of the land to set up rules about our speech, or any branch of the government that will enforce them? Obviously not....
- The writer puts inverted commas round “mistakes” and “errors” because:
(a) he doesn’t think they really are mistakes and errors
(b) they are used in an unusual way
(c) they are quotations
(d) he wants to draw attention to them
(e) he is emphasising them
Abridged given explanation: ...To suggest emphasis (e) is a loose kind of response, taken out of the context of the passage. You can see from the structure of the passage that the brief opening paragraph is establishing the writer’s subject and his approach to it; you should, therefore, read the whole of the passage to see what significance these particular words have...You are now left with a choice between (a) and (d). You can see that (d) is very similar to the already eliminated (e) and
does not stand up to a closer scrutinyof the significance of these words in the passage as a whole. Therefore (a) is the correct answer.
I can eliminate (b) and (c), but would someone please enlarge on why (e) is wrong? What does a loose kind of response mean?
Why is (d) wrong? The explanation doesn't explain why it
does not ... scrutiny.
Source: LNAT Practice Test 1, Passage 8, Q1