ACT Reading 2.4 Humanities Passage

ACT Reading 2.4 Humanities Passage. Which of the following is the best definition for the word "pedantic"?

ACT ReadingHumanities Passage
Meanings of Words From Context
Foreign LanguageArabic Subtitled
Chinese Subtitled
Korean Subtitled
Spanish Subtitled
LanguageEnglish Language
Literary VocabularyDetermine meaning of words and phrases: Informational Text
Determine meaning of words and phrases: Informational text
Product TypeACT Reading
ReadingMeaning of Words from Context

Transcript

00:46

We wish we could just hire Magnum P.I., but he got canceled years ago.

00:49

Ask your parents about him.

00:50

In lieu of Magnum's help, we'll just have to check out the context in and around line 10.

00:55

We know from the passage that "pedantic" is used to describe Schumann's first piano

00:59

teacher, whose teaching is described as "inadequate."

01:02

The prefix "in" means "not" in this case, letting us know that this guy was not

01:07

adequate at all. So basically the dude wasn't winning any piano teacher of the year awards.

01:11

Knowing this allows us to nix choice (C). There's no way the author would describe

01:14

Schumann's first teacher in a positive way, and she certainly wouldn't call him "gifted."

01:18

Now let's see what choice (B) has up its sleeves...

01:21

Well, yeah, Schumann's teacher was old. We know this because the line in the passage

01:26

is: an "old, pedantic professor."

01:29

If "pedantic" meant "old," however, this would be a pretty unimaginative sentence.

01:34

It'd be like calling the guy an "old old professor."

01:38

We'll give the author the benefit of the doubt and assume she knows how to avoid redundancy.

01:41

Choice (B) is out of consideration.

01:43

Choices (A) and (D) are a little harder to choose between. Neither description is particularly

01:48

positive, which matches up with the idea that the teacher was "inadequate."

01:52

We're leaning toward choice (A), however. If the teacher were completely "useless,"

01:56

as (D) says, then we doubt Schumann would've been able to compose those dances at 7 or 8 years old.

02:01

"Pedantic" also sounds a whole lot like the word "pedagogue," which describes

02:05

a strict, super by-the-book teacher. This seals the deal for us, so we dub (A) the correct answer.

02:10

If we were this poor piano teacher, we'd sue the author for slander.