I am preparing for the good and quick reading comprehension. People say that in order to excel in the reading comprehension, one should be able to guess the content. So, there was a sub-heading in the newspaper:

Crippling cost of disparities

However, I am unable to guess this phrase. How can I excel in it? Also, how to understand such phrases? I understand that "disparity" means "a difference". Also, I understand that "crippling" means "unable to move forward". So, does it mean that "due to some difference, the matter is not progressing"?

  • 3
    You're almost there. It is not the disparities that are crippling, but their costs. "Crippling costs" means that something is so expensive that something can not move on (or it endangers a success). So the costs of the disparities are so high that it causes big problems. What those problems are exactly, and what they refer to should come from the article.
    – oerkelens
    Sep 19, 2014 at 11:50
  • It's possible that they're social costs.
    – user230
    Sep 19, 2014 at 12:01
  • 1
    Speed reading is actually just skimming and is incompatible with reading for comprehension.
    – user230
    Sep 23, 2014 at 0:36

2 Answers 2


"Good and quick reading comprehension" is often called "speed reading". For purposes of speed reading, your level of comprehension of the headline is good. If you are not interested in reading about "differences" that make someone or something "unable to move forward", you can skip the article. If you are interested, you can read the article; the article should explain the headline.

The speed reading course I took in High School was designed to improve both speed and comprehension. Yes, it used skimming techniques -- but they were used to focus attention on the most important parts of the text. This actually increased comprehension dramatically. It taught slow readers how to read without sub-vocalizing. It taught glancing ahead, to prime oneself for ideas before reading them. And it taught where to glance. For example, if it is possible to take in a line with just two glances (instead of three), optimal glance placement speeds up reading by up to 30%.


In this case, the cost of the disparities is so great that it is creating a crippling situation.

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