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Reading Comprehension for CLAT – Passage – 1

Reading Comprehension for CLAT – Passage – 1


Passage 1

Lately, I have become fascinated with the growth of a new kind of euphemistic language called “politically correct”, or P.C. Since the words we use reveal how we see the world-and how we want others to see it—people who use P .C. language want us to see the world their way—and act accordingly. Just for instance, in everyday usage fat people may be called stout, stocky, overweight, heavy or even fat. But in P .C. language they are calorically disadvantaged, differently sized, or are size-acceptance advocates. Going even further, P .C. language has created new oppressions: sizeism, the bias against the differently sized, that is practised by sizists; and lookism, the belief that some people are easier on the eyes than others.

I call my two cats pets, but in P .C. language, they’re animal companions, friends or protectors. Well, in some ways, cats are friends and companions, but they’re still pets, and I don’t treat them the same way I treat my friends (nor do my friends treat me the way my cats do). Thanks anyway, but I’d like to reserve “friend” and “companion” for the important human relationships in my life.

ln my youth I spent some time at Shrinivas Hospital for Crippled Children in Chickmagalur. Most of us in that hospital had had the same bad experience with polio. Sure, we were crippled in one way or another, and we knew we were, but the word crippled never bothered us. What bothered us were the people who treated us as if we were untouchables. It was the actions of others, not their words, that hurt. Now, of course, thanks to P.C., we would be described as physically challenged, uniquely abled, differently abled, orthopedically impaired, or as having differing abilities. Just as blind people have become differently sighted, visually impaired, print handicapped, or have reduced visual acuity, and people who stutter are speech impaired. (What’s next: Will someone who’s dead be called differently alive?)

I have never been fond of the term senior citizen, but its meaning is certainly clearer than chronologically gifted. And I have no problem with retirement community; what is gained by calling it a senior aggregate living community? In my language, kids misbehave sometimes, but in P .C. they engage in negative attention-getting; and they don’t just learn to read any more but to interact with print.

Racial and ethnic groups have always been sensitive to the terms applied to them, and surely we should call them what they want to be called. But to avoid chaos they need to agree among themselves; and we need a consensus among all users of the language as to what words mean. In P.C., for instance, Indian and Native Indian have been replaced by Indigenous People, Bhartiya or Abo-Bhartiya, short for aboriginal Bhartiya. How many people really know what these terms mean? And are they really an improvement over the terms they are supposed to replace?

To their credit, many people who insist on P .C. usage believe that changing our language can eventually change our thinking and thus our behavior-thereby eliminating racism, sexism and all the other isms we deplore. I disagree. We can camouflage our problems, ranging from thoughtlessness to outright bigotry, with fancy “correct” words, but we can’t cure them. Instead, we lull ourselves into the false sense that, in calling a rose by another name, we’ve changed it.

I find much of P .C. language absurd and funny-so why do I care? I am concerned, as I said, that its users want to force their view of the world, its people and its problems, on the rest of us. But I have another concern as well: P .C. language attempts to gloss over and distort truth-to prettify it. As George Orwell warned us, “if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” Compassion must temper truth and reality at times, as when we call mentally retarded children exceptional children; but compassion and sensitivity must never be the reason for compromising truth and reality as we experience it. The damage we do to our words, to our minds and to our society may prove to be irreparable.

1 . Which of the following, if true, would best align with the contents of the passage ?

(1) People add a feather to their cap of achievements when they express ideas differently.

(2) A change in language usage results in a change in thinking and behaviour.

(3) It has become fashionable to express an idea vaguely or indirectly, which otherwise can be too harsh or direct.

(4) Sophistry of a person is reflected in the way ideas are expressed.

2 . All of the following are in place, as regards the passage, except that :

(1) the problems faced by senior citizens deserve consideration.

(2) P.C. language distorts truth.

(3) language can corrupt thought.

(4) the damage done to the words, mind and society may be irreparable.

3 . The author is of the view that :

(1) euphemistic language is fascinating.

(2) fancy ‘correct’ words cannot cure problems relating to thoughtlessness and outright bigotry.

(3) by using P.C. language, the listener is protected from feeling hurt.

(4) quite often, words cause pain and anguish.

4 . The underlying theme of the passage is :

(1) to avoid causing hurt and pain even if it means using a vague and an indirect expression.

(2) that compassion and sensitivity must never be the reason for compromising truth and reality as experienced.

(3) to evolve by using a techno-savvy and an unconventional language.

(4) ideas and thoughts are what matters.

5 . Which of the following could be the appropriate conclusion drawn from the passage ?

(1) The people who are handicapped need to be left to themselves.

(2) The people who are handicapped have to be brought in the mainstream of living through various welfare schemes.

(3) The people who are handicapped have to be sensitively and sensibly handled, any lapse would be damaging.

(4) Words are poor comfort givers.

6 . The author makes a case for :

(1) showing charity and philanthropy to the less fortunate brethren.

(2) rehabilitating the people who are handicapped.

(3) a sincere display of intentions to the people who are handicapped, through actions and not words.

(4) creating a sense of self-respect in a person who is handicapped.

7. “Lookism”, as used in the passage, best means :

(1) a grand and a panoramic sight.

(2) an ugly and a repulsive right.

(3) a belief that some people are delightful and pleasant on the eyes of others than other people.

(4) the ability to view things and not merely look at them.

8. A suitable title for the passage could be :

(1) Absurdities Of P.C. Language.

(2) Actions Speak Louder Than Words.

(3) Double–Talk.

(4) Handling The Handicapped People.

9. The posture of the author is :

(1) patronising

(2) indignant

(3) genuinely caring

(4) crusading

10. The passage is at best an extract from :

(1) memoirs of a person who is handicapped.

(2) the works of a research scholar keen to develop the nuances of the language.

(3) a representation of an NGO committed to serve the persons who are handicapped.

(4) the notings of a psychologist trying to study the effect language has on people.

11. According to the passage, which of the following would constitute the action to be desisted from ?

(1) Publicising the plight of the handicapped people with photographs and adequate press coverage.

(2) Keeping jobs and seats in colleges reserved for the handicapped people.

(3) Coming out with programmes that would make them shed their isolation and enable them to join the mainstream.

(4) All except (3)


The above write-up has been contributed by The Knowledge Tree, Patna’s premier coaching institute for CLAT and other law entrance exams like AILET, SET, LSAT etc.




CLAT Gurukul is contributing to the Law Entrance Test form a long time and achieved a great rank in terms of Law Entrance Exam Preparation Institutes. Every Competitive exam needs Speed And Accuracy and these are what exactly matters in these kind of exam.



CLAT Gurukul is contributing to the Law Entrance Test form a long time and achieved a great rank in terms of Law Entrance Exam Preparation Institutes. Every Competitive exam needs Speed And Accuracy and these are what exactly matters in these kind of exam.

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