CAT Verbal Questions - Word Usage

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Word Usage questions often appear in the CAT. Given below are four sentences, each with a choice of words. Choose the answer with the correct combination of choices.
  1. Khap Panchayats

    Khap panchayats are extra-constitutional bodies in Haryana that decry (A) /decree(B) institutionalised atrocities.

    The Khap leaders are universally criticised for imposing regressive diktats that fetter (A)/curb(B) women.

    Patriarchal and misogynist, Khaps have played a key role in reducing Haryana’s sex ratio to an immeasurable (A)/abysmal (B) low.

    The recent apex court directive against Khap panchayats holds the district administration including the police accountable for the prevention of the barbaric acts carried out at the behest(A)/recommendation(B) of the Khaps.

    1. BABA
    2. AABB
    3. BBAB
    4. ABBA
  2. Environmental Lawsuit in Louisiana

    The retraction (A)/hemorrhaging (B) of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands- the size of a football field an hour- has gone largely unremarked upon beyond state borders.

    Beneath the surface, Louisiana's oil and gas industry has carved more than 50,000 wells since the 1920s, creating pockets of air in the marsh that accelerate the land’s subvention (A)/subsidence(B).

    The oil and gas industry has extracted about $470 billion in natural resources from the state in the last two decades, with the tacit (A)/ tactile (B) blessing of the federal and state governments and without significant opposition from environmental groups.

    So industry executives had reason to be surprised(A)/addled (B) when John M Barry, a historian and former college-football coach filed the most ambitious, wide-ranging environmental lawsuit in the history of the United States, asking them to pay damages.

    1. ABAB
    2. ABBA
    3. BBAA
    4. BABA
  3. Sports Interest in India

    The rise of Indian athletes in global rankings across a variety of sports is a de facto (A)/critical (B) requirement for developing sustainable mass interest in these sports.

    This needs to be complimented (A)/complemented (B) by some other initiatives, such as developing television-friendly competitive formats.

    Notwithstanding early hurdles in invoking (A)/evoking (B) interest, it is heartening to see the emergence of Indian Premier League (IPL) formats in hockey, football, badminton and kabaddi.

    The entry of big broadcasters into a sport invariably nurtures (A)/pushes (B) the ecosystem towards better facilities, training and production quality.

    1. ABAB
    2. AABA
    3. BAAA
    4. BBBB
  4. The Reservation List

    The government deserves to be congratulated wholeheartedly for at long last bringing to an end one of the most pernicious (A) / pernickety (B) vestiges of the license-permit Raj.

    Early this week, a notification was issued taking (A)/delisting (B) the last 20 products off the "reservation list" - the list of products that can legally be made only by small and medium enterprises, or SMEs.

    Typically for such economic restrictions, this reservation for SMEs was counter-productive: not only did it stunt the sector, but it ensured the perpetuation (A)/perpetration (B) of monopolies.

    The value of trade as the engine of domestic reform can hardly be underemphasized (A)/overemphasized (B).

    1. ABBA
    2. BBAB
    3. AAAB
    4. BABB
  5. International Crime Tribunals

    In 1993, the UN Security Council established the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and in 1994 it set up a second international tribunal to try the perpetrators (A)/ propagandists (B) of the Rwandan genocide.

    Critics claimed that the tribunals were established to show (A)/cover (B) America's and Europe's shameful reluctance to intervene.

    Perhaps, but it is also true that western powers had never before reached for such a fig leaf (A)/red herring(B).

    Despite (A)/ With regard to (B) slow beginnings, heavy expense and many delays, both tribunals are bold attempts at implementing international humanitarian law.

    1. ABAA
    2. BABB
    3. AABB
    4. BBAA
  6. The Parthenon

    The Parthenon, along with Cheops’s pyramid, Wren’s churches and Mansard’s palaces —ranks as an architectural archetype(A)/prototype (B).

    The builders of the Parthenon were steeped (A)/steered (B) by tradition, yet free to experiment.

    They worked to (A)/for (B) extreme precision, yet the final result was anything but rigid.

    Knowing that long horizontal lines appear to sag, even though they are absolutely straight, horizontal elements were deliberately curved and the vertical columns “fattened” in the middle to compensate (A)/accommodate (B) for the vagaries of the human eye.

    1. BABB
    2. AABB
    3. ABAA
    4. BBBA
  7. Global Power

    European scholars rightly (A)/wrongly (B) viewed all great powers in history as global powers.

    However, the unipolar world of the British and American empires was a historical milestone (A)/ aberration(B).

    For most, global moments were short-lived. Even so (A)/At best (B), they were continental powers.

    Multipolarity or polycentric dispersal (A)/dispensing (B) of power and prosperity defines the normal state of the world.

    1. AABA
    2. ABAB
    3. BAAB
    4. BBBA
  8. Ideological Turmoil

    The loss of the presidency in 2008 thrust the Republican party into a period of intense ideological turmoil, which strengthened (A)/upended (B) the moral consensus.

    On some issues, including health care and climate change, the tea-party revolution drove Republicans further to the right, creating the new orthodoxy (A)/schism (B).

    But on other issues, such as foreign policy and gay marriage, differences that had been papered (A)/debated(B) over suddenly broke free.

    The big loss in 2008 allowed a cabal(A)/faction(B) of the Republican elite to switch sides.

    1. AABB
    2. ABBA
    3. BBAA
    4. BAAB
  9. Magna Carta

    Magna Carta was an ephemeral (A)/abiding (B) agreement between 25 nobles and King John, setting out certain baronial rights in England in 1215.

    The original agreement was in effect only for a short time after the 15 June sealing, after (A)/ before(B) being voided by Pope Innocent III.

    Ostensibly (A)/ Nevertheless (B), the Magna Carta has rocked the Western world for centuries, setting off tremors that still reverberate in the US Bill of Rights about individual liberties and the concept of speaking truth to power.

    Until (A)/But while (B) the vellum sheets of Magna Carta are preserved, there is a real debate in the world over whether or not the freedoms that have their beginnings in the charter might well be on the decline.

    1. BAAB
    2. AABA
    3. BBAA
    4. ABBB
  10. Sequestering Nature

    Just by maintaining green pockets or isolated reserves humans cannot forever maintain the ecological process and functions that are at the core of the ecosystem but (A)/ and thus (B) forestall environmental disasters.

    It is virtually impossible to enclose nature within any boundaries. Nature spans rather than (A)/as well as (B) spills over borders.

    It is only by inquiring (A)/ enquiring (B) into ecology, economics, and culture and by asking how they are interwoven that now we can move on ahead.

    Nevertheless (A)/After all (B), the borders within which we have tried to sequester nature against the siege of human demographic and economic growth are important symbols for they remind us of what we would like to secure and against what.

    1. ABAB
    2. BAAA
    3. ABBA
    4. BABB
  11. Narcissus

    Since (A)/ When (B) Narcissus fell in love with a reflection, a few lines later in Ovid’s poem, he did not recognize himself.

    Indeed(A) /Instead(B), he recoiled in horror as soon as it dawned on him that it was his own face that he had been admiring in a pool.

    So truly (A)/ Still (B), Narcissus was enraptured not by a “selfie”, but by what he took to be a non-selfie.

    As (A)/ Though(B) he was certainly guilty of pride, the poor boy, notorious for alleged self-absorption, may have been unfairly judged for the past 2,000 years.

    1. BAAB
    2. ABAB
    3. AABA
    4. BBBA
  12. Refugees in Lebanon

    The continued presence of Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon helps explain why the Lebanese are loathe(A)/loath(B) to establish camps for Syrians fleeing the civil war.

    Their shear (A)/sheer (B) numbers make it impossible for the refugees to be appropriately sheltered and protected.

    Such a large number of refugees in a country like Lebanon, where the ethnic and religious balance is so fragile, is galvanizing (A)/rattling (B) a government that was having difficulty functioning anyway.

    There is growing concern over the outbreak of violent confrontations of (A)/between (B) the Lebanese and the refugees, and over a loss of control of the refugee enclaves.

    1. BBBB
    2. ABBB
    3. AAAA
    4. BAAA
  13. The War on Human Exceptionalism

    Unlikely as it may seem, utilitarian bioethics is the counterpart (A)/ remonstrance (B) to animal rights in the war on human exceptionalism.

    While (A)/ But (B) animal right proponents seek to elevate some animals to the level of humans, utilitarian bioethics advocates would reduce nascent human life to the status of animals.

    If either view prevails, our equal rights would become ephemeral (A)/ineluctable (B), based on subjective personhood rather than intrinsic humanity.

    Our value would depend on the moment of measuring, leaving us ever vulnerable to depersonalization and perhaps even the concomitant(A)/ concordant (B) loss of what today are called universal human rights.

    1. AABA
    2. BBBA
    3. AAAA
    4. BAAA
  14. Listing the Best

    Exposure markedly (A)/ marginally (B) affects preference.

    In that way, all canons (A)/ cannons (B) are flawed and fluid. They do not include the indisputable ‘best of the best’.

    Ergo (A)/ But (B) they do a pretty good job of distilling a civilization's high points.

    So they are immensely interesting objects of query(A)/ inquiry(B).

    1. AABB
    2. ABAB
    3. BBAA
    4. BAAB
  15. Being a Celebrity

    Celebrity has become an incurable condition, without remission (A)/omission (B).

    Fame is a treadmill, and having your own gym does not seem to make the legwork any (A)/far (B) easier.

    When Gore Vidal said of Truman Capote that his death was a good career move, it was mere waspish provocation, so (A)/but (B) the same assertion could be made without irony about Jean Harlow, James Dean and Marilyn Monroe.

    The flesh-and-blood person is surplus to requirements once an icon has been created, and (A)/but (B) often becomes an active embarrassment.

    1. BBAA
    2. BAAB
    3. AABA
    4. AABB
  16. Teaching

    The rhetoric of “bad teachers” and “good teachers” reinforces the precept(A)/perception(B) that teaching ability is a gift someone either has or does not have.

    This subtly underpins(A)/undermines(B) the status of teaching, by obscuring the extraordinary skill required to perform the job to a high level and by implying that great teaching cannot be taught.

    Indeed, the set-up of most schools is inimical(A)/inimitable(B) to collaboration.

    Subsequently(A)/Consequently(B), teachers have never developed a shared vocabulary for discussing their work in detail and improving their teaching techniques.

    1. ABAB
    2. BABA
    3. BBAB
    4. AABA
  17. Pretentiousness

    Pretentiousness is never a felony in the first (A) / sensible (B) person.

    You might grant the odd personality flaw; the occasional pirouette of hyperbole (A) / self-deprecation (B) is nothing if not good manners.

    Most likely it is one of those foible (A) / imperfections (B) nobody minds owning up to, something that looks charming in the right circumstances.

    But (A) / Nevertheless (B) being pretentious is something that happens "over there".

    1. ABBA
    2. BABA
    3. BBAB
    4. AAAA
  18. A shopper's mind

    The notion that consumers are logical decision-makers with complete insight into the factors determining the choices they make is simplistic (A)/ vapid (B).

    A shopper’s mind is not a clean slate. Information and experience are refracted (A)/ retracted (B) through the lens of belief.

    Information that’s contrary (A)/ inconsistent (B) with those beliefs is likely to be rejected.

    Even experience is malleable (A)/ intractable (B). For many, the same glass of wine tastes better when poured from a $100 bottle than from a $10 bottle.

    1. AABA
    2. BAAB
    3. BAAA
    4. ABAB
  19. Open-Water Swimming

    Open-water swimming tends to evoke (A) / conjure (B) up images of impassioned loners silently stroking across the sea, in search of glory or transcendence.

    But marathon swimming is not so much meditative as (A) / but (B) combative.

    Open water swimmers contend (A) / strive (B) physically and psychologically not only with the elements but also with one another, ceaselessly, right up to the last hundredth of a second.

    Though the race looks serene (A)/chaotic (B) from above, at the surface it is a scrum of windmilling arms and mind games.

    1. ABAB
    2. BABA
    3. AABB
    4. BAAA
  20. The Labor Force

    Labor is restive (A)/ tractable (B) today.

    It is apprehensive about what the future augers (A)/ bodes (B) for itself.

    But it’s not as if labor militancy (A)/ supremacy (B) has gone up in recent years.

    To (A) / On (B) the contrary, man-days lost due to strikes and lock-outs came down from 23.7 million in 2001 to 13 million in 2012 before rising to 19 million in 2013.

    1. AAAB
    2. BBAB
    3. BABA
    4. ABAB

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