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GRE - Reading Comprehension - Critical Reading - Vocabulary

The more definitions a given noun has, the more valuable is each one.

The more definitions a given noun has, the more valuable is each one. Multiple definitions, each subtly different from all the others, convey multiple shades of meaning. They expand the uses of the word; language is enriched, thought is widened, and interpretations increase or dilate to fill the potentialities of association. The very impossibility of absoluteness in the definition of certain nouns adds to the levels of
connotation they may reach. The inner life of a writer often says more than most readers can know; the mind of a reader can discover truths that go beyond the intent or perhaps even the comprehension of the writer. And all of it finds expression because a word can mean many things.

Q1. In the context in which it appears, “shades” (line 2) most nearly means

A. reminders
B. nuances
C. obscurities
D. coverings
E. degrees

Q2. The passage suggests that a writer’s use of nouns that have multiple definitions can have which of the following effects on the relationship between writer and reader?

A. It can encourage the reader to consider how the writer’s life might have influenced the work.
B. It can cause the reader to become frustrated with the writer’s failure to distinguish between subtle shades of meaning.
C. It can allow the reader to discern in a work certain meanings that the writer did not foresee.
D. It allows the writer to provide the reader with clues beyond the word itself in order to avoid ambiguity.
E. It allows the writer to present unfamiliar ideas to the reader more efficiently.

A1. In the passage, the line says 'convey multiple shades of meaning. This suggests that the words manage to convey small details of the noun having multiple definitions. Out of the answer choices B, nuances, a subtle difference in meaning, exactly conveys this meaning.

A2. The answer can be found in the second part of the passage, where the author says that 'the inner life of a writer often says more than most readers can know; the mind of a reader can discover truths that go beyond the intent or perhaps even the comprehension of the writer. And all of it finds expression because a word can mean many things'. These lines indicate that answer choice C, where a noun with multiple meaning allows a reader to discern more than what the author originally intended to convey, is the right answer choice.