Select the word that best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.
Ruth refused to believe anything without proof, leading her friends to label her -------.
A. a pragmatist
B. an advocate
C. an ingenue
D. a skeptic
E. a misanthrope
Always start by covering up your answer choices so that they do not distract you. Read the sentence carefully. What would you call someone who always demanded proof of any statement? You might think that she is "a cynic" or simply "a doubter." If no word immediately comes to mind, you can predict that the answer means "someone who demands proof." This is a precise prediction because you can eliminate any words that do not mean "someone who demands proof."
A. Link the words "pragmatic" and "practical" in your mind. A pragmatist is always looking for the practical solution to a problem. That does not match your prediction. Eliminate it.
B. This word can easily be broken down to its Latin roots. The "ad" means "to" and the "voc" means voice. An advocate is someone who decides to voice an opinion in public, often choosing to speak for another person. This has nothing to do with proof, so eliminate this choice.
C. This word may be unfamiliar to you, but whenever you see the word "ingenue," think of the word "innocent." Think of a wide-eyed child who accepts everything he or she is told. That is the opposite of your prediction. Eliminate this choice.
D. There was an entire group of people known as Skeptics in ancient Greece, but you don't really need to know anything about them. All you need to know is that when someone is skeptical, this person will most likely raise an eyebrow and say "Oh, really?" when you make a statement. Skeptics are disposed not to believe statements without facts; they often doubt what they are told. This matches your prediction, so keep this choice and quickly check the last one.
E. This is a Greek word that is easily explained by its roots. The Greek root "mis" means "hate" while "anthrop" means "human." A misanthrope is therefore someone who doesn't like other people. That has nothing to do with proof. Eliminate this choice.
The correct answer is (D).
This is a medium level question.
Words used in this SC:
Pragmatist: one with a practical approach to problems and affairs
Advocate: one who pleads for or defends someone or something
Ingenue: a naive young woman
Skeptic: a person who doubts everything unless there is absolute proof
Misanthrope: a hater of humanity
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