Meaning of LSAT question?

avman
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Meaning of LSAT question?

Postby avman » Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:48 am

Hello

English is not my first language and so I had a problem understanding this quesiton.

"Which one of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the government's claims?"

Does this mean weaken or ignore? I've looked at the dictionary definition which says "erode." But I've seen examples of the word undermine used as "I do not like it when Children undermine the authority of parents."

Thank you

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Icculus
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Re: Meaning of LSAT question?

Postby Icculus » Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:13 am

In this case it would mean weaken.

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Blumpbeef
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Re: Meaning of LSAT question?

Postby Blumpbeef » Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:23 pm

avman wrote:Hello

English is not my first language and so I had a problem understanding this quesiton.

"Which one of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the government's claims?"

Does this mean weaken or ignore? I've looked at the dictionary definition which says "erode." But I've seen examples of the word undermine used as "I do not like it when Children undermine the authority of parents."

Thank you


I don't think it ever means ignore. Even in your example, it means erode.

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Samara
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Re: Meaning of LSAT question?

Postby Samara » Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:02 pm

Undermine, in the context of the LSAT, is going to typically mean weaken, often with a connotation of contradict. Undermine is often used to describe someone arguing against a position of authority, just as in your example. Doing or arguing something that makes it more difficult for someone else to do or argue something is undermining them. HTH

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Glock
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Re: Meaning of LSAT question?

Postby Glock » Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:41 pm

Undermine means to erode or weaken. In your typical LSAT scenario undermine will be used when two arguments conflict with one another.


Undermine comes from literally mining under things like walls to cause them to fall. This was also called sapping. I am a graphical person, so here you go:

Image


Those dudes are undermining that wall. Literally. Metaphorically they are destroying the foundation of the argument (wall), by fighting a premise it is based on.

Undermine is never properly used to mean ignore.

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Samara
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Re: Meaning of LSAT question?

Postby Samara » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:11 pm

Glock wrote:Undermine means to erode or weaken. In your typical LSAT scenario undermine will be used when two arguments conflict with one another.


Undermine comes from literally mining under things like walls to cause them to fall. This was also called sapping. I am a graphical person, so here you go:

Image


Those dudes are undermining that wall. Literally. Metaphorically they are destroying the foundation of the argument (wall), by fighting a premise it is based on.

Undermine is never properly used to mean ignore.

Nice graphic! Everything is better when explained via medieval warfare.

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Blumpbeef
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Re: Meaning of LSAT question?

Postby Blumpbeef » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:39 pm

Glock wrote:Undermine means to erode or weaken. In your typical LSAT scenario undermine will be used when two arguments conflict with one another.


Undermine comes from literally mining under things like walls to cause them to fall. This was also called sapping. I am a graphical person, so here you go:

Image


Those dudes are undermining that wall. Literally. Metaphorically they are destroying the foundation of the argument (wall), by fighting a premise it is based on.

Undermine is never properly used to mean ignore.


I wouldn't want to be that guy on the right.

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Glock
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Re: Meaning of LSAT question?

Postby Glock » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:37 pm

dhrizek wrote:
Glock wrote:Undermine means to erode or weaken. In your typical LSAT scenario undermine will be used when two arguments conflict with one another.


Undermine comes from literally mining under things like walls to cause them to fall. This was also called sapping. I am a graphical person, so here you go:

Image


Those dudes are undermining that wall. Literally. Metaphorically they are destroying the foundation of the argument (wall), by fighting a premise it is based on.

Undermine is never properly used to mean ignore.


I wouldn't want to be that guy on the right.



Me either. Sappers were frequently killed by the things there were undermining. The general formula called for several sap points. You dig under the wall and put up supports (as shown) as you go. To achieve the element of surprise as much as possible fires would then be set to burn the supports at the same time. The goal was to have several sections of the wall fall at approx the same time and therefore prevent an effective defense. Obviously there were problems with these goals, including tunnel collapses. Not that it was safe anywhere else in a siege, I suppose.

In all sapping was extremely effective and almost impossible to prevent. Strongholds interior arched walls and moats fared the best, but moats can be drained.

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Samara
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Re: Meaning of LSAT question?

Postby Samara » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:56 pm

Glock wrote:
dhrizek wrote:
Glock wrote:Undermine means to erode or weaken. In your typical LSAT scenario undermine will be used when two arguments conflict with one another.


Undermine comes from literally mining under things like walls to cause them to fall. This was also called sapping. I am a graphical person, so here you go:

Image


Those dudes are undermining that wall. Literally. Metaphorically they are destroying the foundation of the argument (wall), by fighting a premise it is based on.

Undermine is never properly used to mean ignore.


I wouldn't want to be that guy on the right.



Me either. Sappers were frequently killed by the things there were undermining. The general formula called for several sap points. You dig under the wall and put up supports (as shown) as you go. To achieve the element of surprise as much as possible fires would then be set to burn the supports at the same time. The goal was to have several sections of the wall fall at approx the same time and therefore prevent an effective defense. Obviously there were problems with these goals, including tunnel collapses. Not that it was safe anywhere else in a siege, I suppose.

In all sapping was extremely effective and almost impossible to prevent. Strongholds interior arched walls and moats fared the best, but moats can be drained.

IIRC, about the only good way to prevent sapping was to find out about it from spies or defectors or such, no? I think I read that sometimes double agents would collapse the tunnel to sabotage the sapping and trap the people inside.

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Glock
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Re: Meaning of LSAT question?

Postby Glock » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:07 pm

Samara wrote:[
IIRC, about the only good way to prevent sapping was to find out about it from spies or defectors or such, no? I think I read that sometimes double agents would collapse the tunnel to sabotage the sapping and trap the people inside.



Yes, there were some instances of double agents and sabotage. However, it only slowed the process. Sapping tunnels are pretty obvious when they get installed. The fortifications always knew they were being sapped (they could see the digging start), so knowing about it would not do much. The defenders would try to light fire to the tunnel support structures and such, but the siege force would keep them coated in wet non-flammable material.

A sally attack out the the fortification would also often lead to a collapsed sapping tunnel, but again it just delayed it. If the siege force was strong enough it could always just start again. Sapping was a tremendously effective tactic, on the whole.




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