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and a gem from my GRE book

September 4, 2011

In Greco-Roman societies, women applied white lead and chalk to their faces to attract attention. Ancient Egyptians wore light foundation to gild their skin, while their kohl eyeliner was only slightly heavier than the eye makeup popular in the mid-1960s. Persians believed that henna dyes, used to stain hair and faces dark, enabled them to summon the majesty of the earth. The European Middle Ages followed the Greco-Roman trend of pale faces. Those rich enough not to work outdoors and acquire a suntan wanted to flaunt their affluence by being pale. To look feminine, fashionable sixteenth-century women would achieve the same ideal by bleeding themselves. While pale of skin, regal 13th-century Italian women wore bright pink lipstick, showing they could afford synthetic makeup.

  1. Which of the following statements presents a situation most analogous to that described in the highlighted sentence?
  • a) Contrary to common opinion, zebras are dark animals, with white stripes where the pigmentation is inhibited.
  • b) The frog’s brown and yellow coloring, as well as its rough texture, allows it to blend in with tree trunks.
  • c) The short-tailed cricket is known to eat its own wings to survive.
  • d) To look masculine, birds called budgerigars display naturally occurring yellow fluorescent plumage on their crowns.
  • e) The male blue-tailed iguana will chew down some of its spines to appear more masculine.
3 Comments leave one →
  1. linebrick permalink*
    September 4, 2011 11:23 pm

    What is the answer???

    Also– this is hardly a found gem like yours is, since Nabokov popularized it in his novel The Gift, but you may like it:

    “Дуб — дерево. Роза — цветок. Олень — животное. Воробей — птица. Россия — наше отечество. Смерть неизбежна.”
    П. Смирновский, Учебник русской грамматики.

    (“An oak is a tree. A rose is a flower. A deer is an animal. A sparrow is a bird. Russia is our fatherland. Death is inevitable.”
    P. Smirnovskii, Textbook of Russian Grammar)

  2. September 5, 2011 7:11 am

    I like how choice D is similar in sentence structure in order to throw students off, while, I believe, that E is the real answer (as both the highlighted sentence and E try to enhance gender specificity by a cosmetic procedure that changes natural physical appearance). I am glad my fashion choices are not so radical. Good luck with your GRE studying!

    Also, linebrick, I am a big fan of the Textbook of Russian Grammar excerpt.

    • linebrick permalink*
      September 5, 2011 7:57 pm

      I’m glad. The word for “inevitable” is literally “un-run-away-from-able.” I also really like choice A. Do you think it’s true about the zebras? And, for that matter, the women??

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