Doctor Alex (A) /was an educated(B) /man of letters (C)/ no error (D)

The above question was asked in my exam in which I was asked to mark the error in the given sentence from four options (A,B,C,D). I know the error, it's that educated here is superfluous with man of letters as man of letters itself means educated but I am confused whether to mark the answer as B or C as the sentence can be corrected by two ways Doctor Alex was an educated man or Doctor Alex was a man of letters. That is it can be corrected by both ways (either by correcting B part or C part of given sentence.) What answer should I mark in exam?

1 Answer 1


Are you sure of your answer? I think it's D - no errors
It looks to me like the section that is selected is dropped resulting in

Doctor Alex was an educated man of letters.

Are you sure "educated" and "man of letters" are the same?
Certainly a "man of letters" is "educated", but are they so similar as to be redundant?

Man of letters, a term used to describe certain types of intellectual

  • Man of letters includes "educated" itself in its meaning , that is if a person is said to be man of letters its obvious that he is educated too so certainly using educated and man of letters contemporarily is superfluous.
    – user212388
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 8:32
  • 1
    Not necessarily, user. As explained in this other question, "letters" is an archaic way to refer to literature. A man of letters may not have received a formal education, or he may have received a science-based education but also enjoys literature. I also vote for D. english.stackexchange.com/questions/29239/…
    – miltonaut
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 8:37
  • We need the exact instructions for this question, it seems to me if you get rid of the B section, you lose your "was" verb; (C) doesn't have a verb; and (D) doesn't belong there; and the instructions should be clear about what to remove. Let's not make the schoolboy error of assuming on a test question...usually test questions need to be processed in a particular way.
    – Peter
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 8:56

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