Asked • 07/29/19

Why is "schism" preferred over "demur" in this sentence?

This is a verbal reasoning question in a GRE book. Obviously, the correct answer could only be A or B. And the explanation on the text book is "the correct answer is B".> Unenlightened authoritarian managers rarely recognize a crucial reason for the low levels of serious conflict among members of democratically run work groups: a modicum of tolerance for dissent often prevents ______.> A. demur B. schism C. cooperation D. compliance E. shortsightednessI know that *schism* does impose a stronger feeling, but I do not understand why I cannot choose A.

2 Answers By Expert Tutors


Elizabeth P.

It appears that demur can also be used as a noun, "without demur."


Howard S.

Yes, I see that “demur” can sometimes be used as a noun but it seems to occur rarely. Perhaps the question asks the responder to show his/her familiarity with usage as well as the distinction between noun and transitive verb. For example, you can see the following at Demur vs. demure Demur is primarily a verb meaning (1) to object, or (2) to hesitate because of doubt. Some dictionaries also list it as a noun referring to the act of demurring, but the word usually gives way to demurral for this sense.


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