AP English Language and Composition 1.1 Reference Skills
AP® English Language and Composition: Reference Skills Drill 1, Problem 1. The word "piecemeal" is best interpreted to mean what?
|AP English Language and Composition||Reference Skills|
|Grammar, Syntax, and Conventions of Written English||Improving Syntax|
|Literary Vocabulary||Determine meaning of words and phrases: Informational Text|
Determine meaning of words and phrases: Informational text
so we hope it tides us over until dinner... But yeah, let's assume we don't know what
the word means, and it's just... unnecessarily whetting our appetite.
Let's take a look at the line in question and see if we can figure out what the word means here.
In fact, let's read the few lines after it as well, to get some sense of context...
A truly scientific philosophy will be more humble, more piecemeal, more arduous, offering
less glitter of outward mirage to flatter fallacious hopes, but more indifferent to
fate, and more capable of accepting the world without the tyrannous imposition of our human
and temporary demands. All right, so... what are we talking about here?
The author is saying that a "truly scientific philosophy" will be humble... we should
know that one, it basically means meek or modest...
...piecemeal -- our mystery word...
...and arduous. The "ard" part sounds like "hard"... and indeed, that's roughly
what the word means. Something grueling and difficult. Like working our way through this question.
The author goes on to say that it will be
"capable of accepting the world without the tyrannous imposition of our human and
In other words... we human beings want immediate gratification -- we want our answers and
we want them now.
But the "scientific philosophy" shouldn't have to put with us and our silly demands.
It should be able to move at its own pace...
...modestly, meekly, and in a grueling manner. Cobbling all this together... it seems that
piecemeal probably means that something gets done a "piece" at a time.
And if you eat your meal a piece at a time, you will eat... slowly... gradually...
Which is answer B.
D is a nice try, but "unhurried" makes it seem like a leisurely stroll in the park...
"Gradual" is much more on the nose.
And none of the others come close... so yeah, B's our guy.
And while it's nice to be careful and thorough, we don't recommend that you complete your
AP test piecemeal.
They frown on it when you leave midway through the test to grab a donut from 7-11.