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OG Q Editorial: The roof of Northtown's municipal equipment

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vickysan Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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OG Q Editorial: The roof of Northtown's municipal equipment

Post Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:52 pm
Editorial: The roof of Northtown's municipal equipment-storage building collapsed under the weight of last week's heavy snowfall. The building was constructed recently and met local building-safety codes in every particular, except that the nails used for attaching roof supports to the building's columns were of a smaller size than the codes specify for this purpose. Clearly, this collapse exemplifies how even a single, apparently insignificant departure from safety standards can have severe consequences.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the editorial's argument?

(A) The only other buildings to suffer roof collapses from the weight of the snowfall were older buildings constructed according to less exacting standards than those in the codes.
(B) The amount of snow that accumulated on the roof of the equipment-storage building was greater than the predicted maximum that was used in drawing up the safety codes.
(C) Because the equipment-storage building was not intended for human occupation, some safety-code provisions that would have applied to an office building did not apply to it.
(D) The municipality of Northtown itself has the responsibility for ensuring that buildings constructed within its boundaries meet the provisions of the building-safety codes.
(E) Because the equipment-storage building was used for storing snow-removal equipment, the building was almost completely empty when the roof collapsed.

Experts I'm curious to hear your take. This is from the 2016 book, and the explanation is not really helpful.

Vicky

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RBBmba@2014 Legendary Member Default Avatar
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Post Thu May 12, 2016 9:42 am
Hi Mitch,
I can understand why B is the OA, but it seems that the option C is pretty close to be the OA! Why it'd be wrong ?

We know that Conclusion: Even a single, apparently insignificant departure from safety standards can have SEVERE CONSEQUENCES.

So option C implies that there were DEVIATIONS (more than the NAILS of a SMALLER SIZE) from some safety-code provisions. Then can we not say that these DEVIATIONS are ALTERNATE REASONS for the collapse ?

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Post Fri May 13, 2016 4:40 am
RBBmba@2014 wrote:
We know that Conclusion: Even a single, apparently insignificant departure from safety standards can have SEVERE CONSEQUENCES.

So option C implies that there were DEVIATIONS (more than the NAILS of a SMALLER SIZE) from some safety-code provisions. Then can we not say that these DEVIATIONS are ALTERNATE REASONS for the collapse ?
C: Because the equipment-storage building was not intended for human occupation, some safety-code provisions that would have applied to an office building did not apply to it.
This option attempts to weaken the PREMISE that the building met local building-safety codes IN EVERY PARTICULAR except for the misuse of nails.
A premise is a FACT.
It cannot be weakened.
Eliminate any answer choice that attempts to weaken a premise.
Eliminate C.

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RBBmba@2014 Legendary Member Default Avatar
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Post Thu May 12, 2016 9:42 am
Hi Mitch,
I can understand why B is the OA, but it seems that the option C is pretty close to be the OA! Why it'd be wrong ?

We know that Conclusion: Even a single, apparently insignificant departure from safety standards can have SEVERE CONSEQUENCES.

So option C implies that there were DEVIATIONS (more than the NAILS of a SMALLER SIZE) from some safety-code provisions. Then can we not say that these DEVIATIONS are ALTERNATE REASONS for the collapse ?

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Post Fri May 13, 2016 4:40 am
RBBmba@2014 wrote:
We know that Conclusion: Even a single, apparently insignificant departure from safety standards can have SEVERE CONSEQUENCES.

So option C implies that there were DEVIATIONS (more than the NAILS of a SMALLER SIZE) from some safety-code provisions. Then can we not say that these DEVIATIONS are ALTERNATE REASONS for the collapse ?
C: Because the equipment-storage building was not intended for human occupation, some safety-code provisions that would have applied to an office building did not apply to it.
This option attempts to weaken the PREMISE that the building met local building-safety codes IN EVERY PARTICULAR except for the misuse of nails.
A premise is a FACT.
It cannot be weakened.
Eliminate any answer choice that attempts to weaken a premise.
Eliminate C.

_________________
Mitch Hunt
GMAT Private Tutor
GMATGuruNY@gmail.com
If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "Thank" icon.
Available for tutoring in NYC and long-distance.
For more information, please email me at GMATGuruNY@gmail.com.

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Post Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:55 am
vickysan wrote:
Editorial: The roof of Northtown's municipal equipment-storage building collapsed under the weight of last week's heavy snowfall. The building was constructed recently and met local building-safety codes in every particular, except that the nails used for attaching roof supports to the building's columns were of a smaller size than the codes specify for this purpose. Clearly, this collapse exemplifies how even a single, apparently insignificant departure from safety standards can have severe consequences.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the editorial's argument?

(A) The only other buildings to suffer roof collapses from the weight of the snowfall were older buildings constructed according to less exacting standards than those in the codes.
(B) The amount of snow that accumulated on the roof of the equipment-storage building was greater than the predicted maximum that was used in drawing up the safety codes.
(C) Because the equipment-storage building was not intended for human occupation, some safety-code provisions that would have applied to an office building did not apply to it.
(D) The municipality of Northtown itself has the responsibility for ensuring that buildings constructed within its boundaries meet the provisions of the building-safety codes.
(E) Because the equipment-storage building was used for storing snow-removal equipment, the building was almost completely empty when the roof collapsed.
Premise: The NAILS were of a SMALLER SIZE than the codes specify.
Conclusion: Even a single, apparently insignificant departure from safety standards can have SEVERE CONSEQUENCES.

This is a CAUSAL argument.
The passage assumes that the SMALLER SIZE OF THE NAILS had a SEVERE CONSEQUENCE -- namely, the collapse of the roof.
One way to weaken a causal argument is to suggest an ALTERNATE CAUSE.

Answer choice B: The amount of snow that accumulated on the roof of the equipment-storage building was greater than the predicted maximum that was used in drawing up the safety codes.
Implication:
Even if the nails had been of the appropriate size, the roof still would have collapsed, since THE AMOUNT OF SNOW WAS GREATER THAN THE PREDICTED MAXIMUM.
By suggesting that an ALTERNATE CAUSE -- the amount of snow greater than the predicted maximum -- caused the collapse of the roof, B WEAKENS the conclusion that a single departure from safety standards can have severe consequences.

The correct answer is B.

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vickysan Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:21 pm
Thanks for your helpful input about B, Jim.

I'm also curious about getting some other expert explanations, ideally from Mitch, or Marty Murray? I'd appreciate it if possible. Your reasoning really resonates with me. Thanks!!

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