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ACT English: Transitions

SAT Question of the Day

The SAT question of the day is a Sentence Completion Question that has already been addressed on this blog: click here to see an explanation.

ACT Question of the Day

ACT English questions are part of a passage. The text you must evaluate will be underlined with an identifying number.  In this particular question, only one word is underlined.

Philosophy and Baseball
     In the fall of 1967, the Boston Red Sox were
playing in the World Series. I was a freshman at a
university that was located in the Midwest at the
time, enrolled in a philosophy course that met at two
in the afternoon. The course was taught by a native
Bostonian. He wanted to watch the games on television,
but he was too responsible to cancel class. So he
conducted classes, those October afternoons, while
actually listening to the games on a small transistor
radio propped up inside his lectern, the volume
turned down so that only he could hear.
      Baseball is unique among
American sports by its ability to appeal to a
love resembling that of a child of fable and
legend. Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio,
Roberto Clemente—names like these will echo through
time that are trumpet calls to storied battles fought
and won in ages past.  When Hank Aaron
stretched out a sinewy arm to pull one down,
striding up to a rack of ash-hewn bats, he became a
modern-day knight selecting their lance. And
when glints of the afternoon sun shone off Mickey
Mantle's colossal bat, there will have to be seen
for one brief, stirring moment the glimmer of the
jewels in King Arthur's own mighty sword, Excalibur.
     So there he stood, that learned professor of
mine, lecturing about the ideas, that have engaged
people's minds for centuries. Then he'd interrupt
himself to announce, with smiling eyes, that the Sox
had taken a two-to-nothing lead. Here was a
man who's mind was disciplined
inside his schoolbook to contemplate
the collected wisdom of the ages—and he
was behaving like a boy with a contraband
comic opened. On those warm October days, as
the afternoon sun dances and plays on the domes
and spires of the university, the philosophers
had to stand aside, for the professor's imagination
had transported him to the Boston of his youth.

Choose the best alternative for the underlined part.

F. NO CHANGE
G. (Begin new paragraph) To summarize,
H. (Do NOT begin new paragraph) So
J. (Do NOT begin new paragraph) Yet

Normally you don't want to start a sentence with the word "so."  In this case, before you cross out (F), take a look at how this sentence relates to the rest of the passage.  There is one paragraph about the professor, one paragraph about baseball, and then another paragraph that goes back to the professor.  That paragraph break has to be there because the topics of the paragraph are so different.  You have just eliminated (H) and (J).  Look at (G).  The purpose of the last passage is not to summarize, but to add to your understanding of how the professor reconciles baseball with his class.  Eliminate (H).  Take a look at the offending word "so" in (F).  This word lets you know that this paragraph is linked to something that came before, specifically, the image of the professor with a radio inside his lectern.  It helps to position this paragraph against previous information, so it works in this passage.

The correct answer is (F).

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