CAT 2017 Question Paper | Verbal Slot 2

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Typewriters are the epitome of a technology that has been comprehensively rendered obsolete by the digital age. The ink comes off the ribbon, they weigh a ton, and second thoughts are a disaster. But they are also personal, portable and, above all, private. Type a document and lock it away and more or less the only way anyone else can get it is if you give it to them. That is why the Russians have decided to go back to typewriters in some government offices, and why in the US, some departments have never abandoned them. Yet it is not just their resistance to algorithms and secret surveillance that keeps typewriter production lines — well one, at least — in business (the last British one closed a year ago). Nor is it only the nostalgic appeal of the metal body and the stout well-defined keys that make them popular on eBay. A typewriter demands something particular: attentiveness. By the time the paper is loaded, the ribbon tightened, the carriage returned, the spacing and the margins set, there's a big premium on hitting the right key. That means sorting out ideas, pulling together a kind of order and organising details before actually striking off. There can be no thinking on screen with a typewriter. Nor are there any easy distractions. No online shopping. No urgent emails. No Twitter. No need even for electricity — perfect for writing in a remote hideaway. The thinking process is accompanied by the encouraging clack of keys, and the ratchet of the carriage return. Ping!

Question 1 : Which one of the following best describes what the passage is trying to do?

  1. It describes why people continue to use typewriters even in the digital age.
  2. It argues that typewriters will continue to be used even though they are an obsolete technology.
  3. It highlights the personal benefits of using typewriters.
  4. It shows that computers offer fewer options than typewriters.

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Explanatory Answer

The passage tries to explain why typewriters are ‘still in business’, though rendered obsolete in the digital age.

Note that the passage does not declare that typewriters will continue to be used; it merely states why typewriters are still used.

The question is "Which one of the following best describes what the passage is trying to do?"

Hence, the answer is It describes why people continue to use typewriters even in the digital age.

Choice A is the correct answer.


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