Question

Companies are relying more and more on networked computers for such critical tasks as inventory management, electronic funds transfer, and electronic data interchange, in which standard business transactions are handled via computer rather than on paper.

Option A
Option B
Option C
Option D
Option E

(This question is from Official Guide. Therefore, because of copyrights, the complete question cannot be copied here. The question can be accessed at GMAT Club)

Solution

Sentence Analysis

Computers are relying increasingly on networked computers for critical tasks such as:

  1. inventory management
  2. electronic funds transfer
  3. electronic data interchange

In these tasks, standard business transactions are handled

  1. ‘via computer’
  2. rather than ‘on paper’

As explained above, the sentence, as is, is clear in meaning, and it also has the parallel structure ‘via computer’ and ‘on paper’.

Therefore, the original sentence has no errors.

Option Analysis

(A) Correct.

(B) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. “where”, on GMAT, refers to only physical locations. Therefore, ‘where’ cannot refer to ‘tasks’ here.
  2. We have ‘on paper’ after “rather than”. However, ‘on paper’ is not parallel to anything before “rather than”. The only thing it can be parallel to is “where”. However, that interpretation will lead to an illogical meaning that computers handle transactions in critical tasks rather than on paper!

(C) Incorrect. It has Error no. 2 of option B.

(D) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. Error no. 1 of option B
  2. Enclosing ‘not with paper’ in double commas indicate that it is non-essential part of the sentence. However, in its absence, ‘but instead via computer’ will not make any sense.

(E) Incorrect. ‘in place of’ is a preposition and therefore must be followed by a noun and never by another prepositional phrase “on paper”.

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