Monday, January 28, 2008

Parallelism -- a very sneaky SAT question!

You've got to be on your toes to smoke out the following
SAT Question of the Day™:

The following sentence contains either a single error or no error at all. If the sentence contains an error, select the one underlined part that must be changed to make the sentence correct. If the sentence contains no error, select choice E.

From its modest beginnings
as a series of brief vignettes to
its establishment as the longest-running
prime-time animated series on television, The Simpsons
transformed the way
both the audiences and television programmers
view the animated sitcom.
No error

The error in this sentence occurs at (D), where there is an improper idiom. What follows each part of the "both . . . and" construction must be grammatically parallel, but here "both" is followed by the article "the" while "and" is followed by the noun "television programmers."

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