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    #1

    reading comprehension

    In Finland now, everything is all right. Fifteen years after one of the worst recessions any European country has seen, triggered by the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Finns feel very content. Their small country of a population of 5 million is the first in the World Economic Forum’s list of the world’s most competitive countries, and the second in its business-competitiveness index. It is also the first in the OECD’s world ranking of educational performance and has the second-highest share of research-and-development spending in the European Union. Moreover, the country is reversing its
    demographic decline and, hence, its fertility rate is one of the highest in Europe. Perhaps best of all the Finns are facing globalization without paranoia. Theirs is one of the few European countries to have succeeded in businesses in which international prices are falling because of global competition and technological change. In most of Europe public opinion and even business élites seem gloomily resigned to being overwhelmed by India and China. Finland suggests that this fate is not inevitable.

    It is clear from the passage that Finland’spreviously weak economy ----.

    A) was caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union

    B) had no effect on the country’s standing in the World Economic Forum

    C) caused the country to spend more on research and development

    D) improved dramatically fifteen years ago

    E) became stronger after it began to reverse its demographic decline

    hello

    the offcial answer to this question is A, but I'd like to raise an objection. The text informs us that the economic recession in Europe was triggered by the collapse of the Soviet Union, so we deduce that Finland's economy was badly affected by the collapse of the Soviet Union, but I think "trigger" as a verb does not imply that the only reason for the recession was the collapse of the Soviet Union. Further, it imlies, to me, that it worsened an already bad situation. However, "cause" shows a direct relation, that is, the collapse of the Soviet Union was the only reason for the recession. To me, it also indicates that before the collapse of the Soviet Union, the economic situation in Europe was just fine. Is my interpretation correct? What's your opinion?

  1. #2

    Re: reading comprehension

    Although "trigger" might, indeed, imply what you describe (i.e. a pre-existing tendency), from all the possible answers, A is the only one that makes sense

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    #3

    Re: reading comprehension

    Quote Originally Posted by Mariner View Post
    Although "trigger" might, indeed, imply what you describe (i.e. a pre-existing tendency), from all the possible answers, A is the only one that makes sense
    Yes, I agree on A's being the only correct choice, but note that my objection is not to that.
    Last edited by Trex; 16-Nov-2006 at 21:55.


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    #4

    Re: reading comprehension

    I agree with your conclusion that "trigger" as a verb does not imply that the only reason for the recession was the collapse of the Soviet Union

    I disagree with your conclusion that "it imlies, to me, that it worsened an already bad situation." Trigger, as used in this writing, means it was the impetus or stimulant for the event.

    I disagree with your statement, "However, "cause" shows a direct relation, that is, the collapse of the Soviet Union was the only reason for the recession." The collapse was the trigger, impetus, stimulant for the recession, but nothing indicates it was the ONLY reason for the recession.

    And, I disagree with the statement, "To me, it also indicates that before the collapse of the Soviet Union, the economic situation in Europe was just fine." There is nothing in this writing that indicates that. You are drawing conclusions without facts to support them.

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