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To the (i) eye, the jungle canopy can seem little more than

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To the (i) eye, the jungle canopy can seem little more than [#permalink] New post 13 Dec 2018, 16:10
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53% (00:40) correct 46% (01:03) wrong based on 62 sessions
To the (i) ______ eye, the jungle canopy can seem little more than a dense latticework of branches and leaves. For the indigenous peoples of the Amazon, even a small area can serve as a veritable (ii) ______ of pharmaceutical cures. The field of ethnobotany, which relates to both the natural pharmacy offered up by the jungle and the peoples who serve as a store of such knowledge, has become increasingly popular in the last decades as many anthropologists, hoping to take advantage of this vast bounty, learn the language and customs of the tribes in order to (iii) ______ them thousands of years worth of knowledge.



Blank (i) Blank (ii)Blank (iii)
(A) untutored (D) cornucopia (G) glean from
(B) sophisticated (E) invasion(H) allot to
(C) veteran (F) dissemination(I) purge from
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: To the (i) eye, the jungle canopy can seem little more than [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2018, 09:45
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Re: To the (i) eye, the jungle canopy can seem little more than [#permalink] New post 25 Dec 2018, 02:01
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"can seem little more than" implies a failure to observe correctly, hence untutored seems to me the best option for the first blank.

"pharmaceutical cures" itself should suggest cornucopia. Also it is more than just "latticework of branches", so expect something substantial.

"learn the language.....in order to" obviously find the knowledge, so glean is the best choice.
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Re: To the (i) eye, the jungle canopy can seem little more than [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2020, 21:58
Official Explanation

The First Blank

The first two sentences are establishing a contrast. The contrast in this sentence is quite subtle, because there are no obvious “contrast words” to signal it. This means we need to pay extra attention to what the sentence itself is saying.

First, notice that there are two characterizations of the jungle, based on who is looking at it:

When the ______ eye looks, it seems “little more than a dense latticework of branches and leaves”

When the indigenous peoples look, they see, “a veritable ______ of pharmaceutical cures”

Even without knowing the words that go in our blanks, we can see that there is a big difference between the first and second viewers. Both viewers are looking at the same thing — the Amazon forest — but the first one sees a messy bunch of leaves while the second sees potential medicines.

The phrase “seem little more than” is a little tricky here. It appears to be saying that something seems more than something else. However, the word “little” is the key — it tells us that while there may be a difference, it is very small. So this phrase is used more to show that two things are virtually the same. Any difference is negligible; it’s very small and not worth talking about. So this kind of person sees little difference between the canopy and a mess of trees.

So we can intuit that there is a comparison being made. We can logically deduce that the indigenous (which means native) peoples would be experts on the jungle due to a lifetime of experience with it. So, the word in the first blank must describe someone who is less familiar or less educated about the jungle — the opposite of an expert.

(A) untutored — This is perfect. An “untutored” eye would belong to someone who doesn’t know the subject very well. That fits with the comparison being made. Native peoples have a fundamental understanding because they know the area so well, and other people, who don’t know the area, have a poor understanding. They haven’t learned — they’re untutored. (A) is a perfect answer.

(B) sophisticated — This is the opposite of what we want in some respects. If you have a sophisticated eye, that means you have a “great deal of worldly experience and knowledge.” You are skilled at seeing details, etc. That doesn’t fit, because we’re told the first blank belongs to those who merely sees leaves, not the possibilities of what they can provide.

(C) veteran — This is wrong for similar reasons. The second group — the indigenous peoples — are closer to “veterans.” They know this area; they have experienced it. Other people would have a novice eye, not a veteran one.

The Second Blank


We’ve already established that the indigenous peoples can see how the jungle can be used, in a way that “untutored” people can’t see. One of the things they can see is that all of these plants make up a __________ of of pharmaceutical cures. So what seems to insignificant can actually hold a wealth of useful material.

So we are looking for a word that in some way contrasts the idea of what a “small area” can serve as or be used for. Given the sentence, we would expect the blank to address the role of the forest being a source or supply of something, in this case pharmaceutical cures.

A key here is the contrast that comes from the word “even.” We want something that contrasts with “small.”

(D) cornucopia — A cornucopia is an abundance of useful stuff (we usually think of it in regards to food, though it can apply to anything). This isn't something we would expect to come out of a “small area” of nothing but trees. But the word “even” expresses that this is the case — even a small area can provide an abundance. (D) cornucopia is a great answer.

(E) invasion — Nothing in the sentence implies that anyone is being attacked. We’re talking about pharmaceutical cures, after all — we wouldn’t say that medicine is “invading;” that doesn’t make sense.

(F) dissemination — This means “the act or property of spreading out.” It's true that something that disseminates could cover a large area, but there's nothing in the context that indicates we are talking about an active “spread” of some kind. So dissemination doesn't fit the context here.

The Third Blank

We have a shift here now ahead of this third blank. The paragraph begins to discuss the field of “ethnobotany,” which is a scientific field that studies natural medicines found in the jungles as well as the people who are experts in these natural medicines. Who would those experts be? In context, we’re referring to the indigenous people from the previous sentence!

This field, we are told, has become popular recently, because anthropologists (scientists who study human cultures) are “hoping to take advantage” of the “vast bounty” (the “cornucopia” from earlier) of medicines. They want to learn more about the indigenous tribes so that they can ___________ them thousands of years of knowledge.

Well, basically what these scientists want is access. They want to have access to these indigenous peoples and what they have to offer. So we want something in this blank that shows that the scientists want to get something, such as knowledge.

(G) glean from — To “glean” something is to extract information from something. That pretty perfectly matches our context: the scientists want to glean knowledge from the tribes. (G) is a perfect answer.

(H) allot to — To “allot” something is to give something, usually in a specific or predetermined amount. This is the opposite of what we want — the scientists don’t want to give anything; they want to receive knowledge.

(I) purge from — This is a little tricky. You might read this as saying that the scientists want to take everything there is to take from the indigenous people, leaving them with nothing left. (To “purge” is to remove something completely.) And while this is a possibility, it doesn’t quite work in context. Knowledge, after all, is not destroyed after it is passed on. So it doesn’t make sense to say, based on the context we have, that the scientists want to purge the knowledge from the indigenous peoples.
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Re: To the (i) eye, the jungle canopy can seem little more than   [#permalink] 19 Jan 2020, 21:58
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