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  1. Member
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      • Vietnam
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    • Join Date: Apr 2011
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    motley vs. variegated

    Hello everyone.
    Here's a question from a GRE book.
    While the author's first collection of short stories presented a (i) _________ hodgepodge of voices, the second collection presents a remarkably (ii) _________ set of tales presented by a (iii) _________ narrator.
    (i) motley, variegated, homogeneous
    (ii) insightful, even, facetious
    (iii) lonely, disingenuous, sole

    Here's the book's answer and explanation.
    Motley, even, sole. This question is an excellent lesson in the principle, "Doní t add anything to your reading of the sentence that wasn't there already." What were you told? Just that the first short story collection had many diverse voices, and the second collection has "a ________ narrator" ó in other words, just one speaker. Therefore, you donít know that the stories or narrator are insightful, facetious, lonely, or disingenuous.

    My own answer is "variegated, even, sole". Since the clarification above doesn't mention anything about "variegated", could anyone please explain to me the difference between "motley" and "variegated" that makes "motley" the choice?
    Thank you very much.
    Please notify me of any mistakes in my posts. It is much appreciated.

  2. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
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      • American English
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    Re: motley vs. variegated

    "Motley" has a sense of being incongruous, of being a mixture of things that don't seem to go together.

    Of course, so does "hodgepodge."

    I remember someone asking about "motley hodgepodge" recently. I pointed out that it's redundant. "Hodgepodge" says all you need to say. They are all motley, by definition.


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