In discussing the tangential details of events, the passage contrasts their original significance to witnesses with t...

jing jing on April 11, 2020

Why is E wrong?

Hi I picked E and it was wrong. I thought E was correct because fat turned out to be important in the end, just like tangential information turned out to be important in the end in identifying the perpetrator. Why is the correct answer correct? Thank you

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Andrea on April 13, 2020


What’s key in this contrast is who the thing in question is important to. When someone is witnessing a shocking armed bank robbery, the last thing they’re probably paying attention to is the perpetrator’s shoes, for instance. Instead, the witness is probably focusing on the weapon. But if it’s a rainy night and the robber runs out of the bank onto a muddy street, the investigators would probably benefit greatly from knowing if that perpetrator had big or small feet, or if the perpetrator was wearing Nike or Adidas tennis shoes.

The brand or size of shoe may be a tangential detail to the witness, but a crucial piece of evidence to the investigators trying to solve the crime.

In answer choice E, we don’t get that kind of setup. In your explanation you describe the fat as turning out to be “important in the end.” Rather, I think answer choice E is suggesting that removing fat is valuable for more than one reason.

In answer choice D, we find a closer match. For the purposes of flavor and appearance, wheat germ is not needed in flour and is usually removed during milling (for the witness in the bank watching the armed bank robbery, the perpetrator’s shoes are not something he or she bothers to pay attention to in the moment), but for purposes of nutrition, the germ is an important part of the grain (but for the investigators, the shoe is an important part of identifying the criminal).

Hope this helps you better understand why D is correct. Feel free to follow up if you have anymore questions!

Skylar on April 13, 2020, happy to help!

Lines 52-59 make the point that tangential details (such as a perpetrator's shirt color or hairstyle) are unimportant in the witness's original experience of an event but critical in the courtroom. The correct answer should follow this pattern of reasoning.

(D) says that wheat germ is unimportant for the purposes of flavor and appearance, but important for the purposes of nutrition. This follows the logic of the passage in saying that a factor is unimportant in one thing, but critical in another, so (D) is correct.

(E) says that the removal of fat may be used for purposes of texture and appearance, but is also important when used for purposes of health. Instead of contrasting an instance in which the factor is unimportant with one in which it is very important, (E) discusses multiple purposes where the factor is useful. Therefore, it departs from the logic of the passage and is incorrect.

Does that make sense? Please let us know if you have any other questions!