The speculative fever of the Roaring twenties infected rich and poor alike; vast quantities of people were dangerously overextended, credit was absurdly easy to obtain, and most brokeragehouses required only ten percent cash for stocks bought on margin.
(A) rich and poor alike; vast quantities of people were dangerously overextended
(B) both rich and poor alike; large amounts of people dangerously overextended themselves
(C) rich and poor alike; great numbers of people dangerously overextended
(D) both rich and poor alike; vast amounts of people dangerously overextended themselves
(E) both rich and poor alike; great quantities of people dangerously overextended
The error in this question relates to the wrong ‘quantity’ words.
The underlined portion covers two main clauses in which the respective subjects and predicates are (fever; infected) and (quantities; were overextended).There are no mismatches between the subject and predicate.
Since, the period referred to is ‘roaring twenties’ (meaning the years 1920 to 1929), the use of the past tense in both these clauses is also correct.
There is error in the phrase ‘rich and poor’.
What is wrong in the given sentence is the phrase ‘vast quantities of people’, because can be used only with reference to Inanimate (or lifeless) objects, and not with referring to people.
The correct phrase to describe people is ‘vast numbers of people’.
So the given sentence is wrong, and (A) is not the answer.
Scanning the other choices, we find that only (C) has the correct formation. That choice is a cogent, grammatical and clear sentence.
The answer is (C).
Other choices are using the proper quantity words which should be suitable for referring to people.
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