Wednesday, September 15, 2004

OG SC 86

Having the right hand and arm being crippled by a sniper's bullet during the First World War. Horace Pippin, a Black American painter, worked by holding the brush in his right hand and guiding its movements with his left
(A) Having the right hand and arm being crippled by a sniper's bullet during the First World War
(B) In spite of his right hand and arm being crippled by a sniper's bullet during the First World War
(C) Because there had been a sniper's bullet during the First World War that crippled his right hand and arm
(D) The right hand and arm being crippled by a sniper's bullet during the First World War
(E) His right hand and arm crippled by a sniper's bullet during the First World War





In E, the best answer, the construction His right hand... crippled clearly and grammatically modifies the subject of the sentence, Horace Pippin. In A, the use of the two participles Having and being is ungrammatical. Choice B is awkward and changes the meaning of the original statement: the point is that Pippin's method of painting arose because of, not in spite of, his injury. Choice C is wordy and awkwardly places the clause beginning that crippled... so that it appears to modify the First World War rather than bullet. In choice D, The should be His, and being should be omitted.

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