19 December 2017



A Figure of Speech is a departure from the ordinary form of expression, or the ordinary course of ideas in order to produce a greater effect.Figures of speech often provides emphasis, freshness of expression, or clarity.
Figurative language is the opposite of literal language.
Literal language means exactly what it says.
Figurative language means something different to (and usually more than) what it says on the surface

Functions of Figures of Speech:

To arrest the attention and retain it
To stimulate the imagination
To excite the emotions
To compel by their Force and to allure by their charm
To persuade or to please

Figures of Speech may be classified as under:-

Figures of Speech may be classified as under:
a) Those based on Resemblance such as Allegory, Apostrophe, Euphemism, Imagery, Metaphor, Pathetic Fallacy, Personification and Simile
b) Those based on contrast such as Antithesis, Epigram, Oxymoron, Paradox and Pun
c) Those based on association such as Metonymy, Symbol and Synecdoche
d) Those based on construction such as Anticlimax, Climax, Colloquialism, Exclamation, Interrogation, Pathos, Rhetorical Question and Transferred Epithet
e) Those based on repetition such as Alliteration, Anaphora, Assonance, Refrain and Repetition
f) Those based on overstatement or vice versa such as Hyperbole and Litotes
g) Those based on moral and criticism such as Fable, Parable and Irony

Figures of speech that play with the literal meaning of words are called tropes, Tropes (from the Greek tropein, to turn) while figures of speech that play with the order or pattern of words are called schemes. Schemes (from the Greek schēma, form or shape)
Figures of speech can take many forms. A figure of speech can involve a single word, a phrase, an omission of a word or phrase, a repetition of words or sounds, or specific sentence structures.

1. Simile:- 

In a Simile a comparison is made between two objects of different kinds which  have however at least one point in common.
The Simile is usually introduced by such words as like, as or so. Examples:-
1. The Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold.
2. The righteous shall flourish as the palm tree.
3. She is as pretty as a picture
4. He fights like a lion.
5. How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
The following are some common similes of everyday speech:-
Mad as a March Hare; as proud as a peacock; as bold as brass; as tough as leather; as
clear as crystal; as good as gold; as old as the hills; as cool as a cucumber.
Note: - A comparison of two things of the same kind is not a Simile.

2. Metaphor:- 

A Metaphor is an implied Simile. It does not, like the Simile, state that
one thing is like another or acts as another, but takes that for granted and proceeds as if
the two things were one.
Thus, when we say, 'He fought like a lion' we use a Simile, but when we say, 'He was a
lion in the fight', we use a Metaphor.
1. The camel is the ship of the desert.
2. Life is a dream.
3. The news was a dagger to his heart.
4. Revenge is a kind of wild justice.
Note 1:- Every SIMILE can be compressed into a METAPHOR, and Every METAPHOR can be expanded into a SIMILE.
Richard fought like a lion (Simile),
Similarly, instead of saying,
The camel is the ship of the desert (Metaphor).
we may expand it and say,
As a ship is used for crossing the ocean, so the camel is used for crossing the desert(Simile).
Other examples:-
Variety is the spice of life (Metaphor).
As spice flavours food, so variety makes life more pleasant (Simile).
The waves broke on the shore with a noise like thunder (Simile).
The waves thundered on the shore. (Metaphor)

3. Personification:-

 In Personification inanimate objects and abstract notions are spoken of as having life and intelligence.
1. Death lays its icy hands on King.
2. Laughter holding both her sides.
3. Death lays his icy hand on kings.
4. Pride goes forth on horseback, grand and gay,But Cometh back on fool, and begs its way.
.   5. Necessity knows no law.
    6. Hope springs eternal
     7. Let the floods clap their hands.
      8. I kissed the hand of death.
NOTE- We frequently use personification - whether we know it or not - when we describe
- a promising morning
- a treacherous sea
- a thankless task
The wind whispered through dry grass.
The flowers danced in the gentle breeze.
Time and tide waits for none.

4. Apostrophe:- 

An Apostrophe is a direct address to the dead, to the absent, or to apersonified object or idea. This figure is a special form of Personification.
1. Milton! Thoushouldn’t be living at this hour.
2. O Friend! I know not which way I must look for, comfort,
3. Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean-roll!
4. O death! Where is thy sting? O grave! Where is thy victory?
5. O liberty, what crimes have been committed in thy name?
6.  Roll on! Thou deep and dark blue Ocean, roll.
7. O Solitude !where are the charms that sages have seen in thy face ?

5. Hyperbole:-

Hyperbole is an exaggeration and things are made to appear greater or lesser than they usually are. Hyperbole is a literary device often used in poetry, and is frequently encountered in casual speech. Occasionally, newspapers and other media use hyperbole when speaking of an accident, to increase the impact of the story.
No one imagines that a hyperbolic statement is to be taken literally. It can also be termed as OVERSTATEMENT. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is not meant to be taken literally.
    I.     The burglar ran as fast as lightning.
   II.     The professor's ideas are as old as the hills.
   III.     The troops were swifter than eagles and stronger than lions.
   IV.     Her brain is the size of a pea.
   V.     I have told you a million times not to lie!
   VIMy grandmother is as old as the hills.
  VII      Your suitcase weighs a ton!
    VIII    She is as heavy as an elephant!

6. Euphemism: -

Euphemism consists in the description of a disagreeable thing by an agreeable name.
   You are telling me a fairy tale. (You are telling me lies)
   He is gone to heaven. (He is dead)
  You are becoming a little thin on top (bald).
 Our teacher is in the family way (pregnant)

7. Antithesis:-

 In antithesis a striking opposition or contrast of words or sentiments ismade in  the same sentence. It is employed to secure emphasis.
1. Man proposes, God disposes.
2. Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more.
3.United we stand, divided we fall.
        To err is human, to forgive is divine.
     We look for light, but all is darkness
4. Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.
5. Speech is silver, but silence is golden.
6. Many are called, but few are chosen.
7. He had his jest, and they had his estate.

8. Oxymoron:- 

Oxymoron is a special form of Antithesis, whereby two contradictoryqualities are predicted at once of the same thing.
An Oxymoron is when two terms or words are used together in a sentence but they seem to contradict each-other. Oxymoron is a statement which, on the surface, seems to contradict itself - a kind of crisp contradiction. An oxymoron is a figure of speech that deliberately uses two differing ideas. This contradiction creates a paradoxical image in the reader or listener's mind that generates a new concept or meaning for the whole.
          Life is bitter sweet.
           He is the wisest fool of them all.
    He was condemned to a living death.
His honour rooted in dishonourstood.And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true.
"I can resist anything, except temptation." - Oscar Wilde
"I like a smuggler. He is the only honest thief." - Charles Lamb
"Modern dancing is so old fashioned." - Samuel Goldwyn
"A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business."

9. Epigram: - 

An Epigram is a brief pointed saying frequently introducing antitheticalideas which excite surprise and arrest attention.
1. The child is father of the man.
2. A man can't be too careful in the choice of his enemies.
3. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
4. In the midst of life we are in death.
5. He makes no friend, who never made a foe.
6. Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
7.The proper study of mankind is man,
8. The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool,

10. Irony: -

 Irony is a mode of speech in which the real meaning is exactly the opposite
of that which is literally conveyed.
As soft as concrete
        As clear as mud
       He was suspended for his little mishap.
       The homeless survived in their cardboard palaces.
  The butter is as soft as a marble piece.
       Here, under leave of Brutus, and the rest,
(For Brutus is an honourable man)
I come to speak in Caesar’s funeral.
Here the use of the word, “honourable” is ironical.

11. Pun: -is a word or phrase used in two different senses. It is usually used in plays where one word has two different meanings and is used to create humor. Pun is a play of words – either their different meanings or upon two different words sounding the same.
Humorous use of a word to suggest different meanings or of words of the same sound and different meanings create humor and interest while reading also.

1. Is life worth living? It depends upon the liver.
2. An ambassador is an honest man who lies abroad for the good of his country.
3. Truly, Sir, all that I live by is with the awl; I meddle with no tradesman’s matters, nor women's matters, but with awl.
4. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
5. An elephant’s opinion carries a lot of weight.

12. Metonymy:- 

In Metonymy (literally, a change of name) an object is designated by the name of something which is generally associated with it.
Some familiar examples:-
The Bench, for the judges.
The House, for the members of LokSabha.
The laurel, for success.
Red-coats, for British soldiers.
Bluejackets, for sailors.
The Crown, for the king.
Since there are many kinds of association between objects, there are several varieties of
Thus a Metonymy may result from the use of:-
(i)The sign for the person or thing symbolized; as,You must address the chair (i.e., the chairman).
From the cradle to the grave (i.e., from infancy to death).
(ii)The container for the thing contained; as, the whole city went out to see the victorious general.
The kettle boils.
Forthwith he drank the fatal cup.
He was playing to the gallery.
He has undoubtedly the best stable in the country.
(iii) The instrument for the agent; as,
The pen is mightier than the sword.

13. Synecdoche:-

A synecdoche is a figure of speech in which a term for a part of something refers to the whole of something or vice versa.
The word “bread” can be used to represent food in general or moneyhe is the breadwinner; music is my bread and butter).
All hands (i.e., crew) to the pumps.
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
A fleet of fifty sail (i.e., ships) left the harbour.
All the best brains in Europe could not solve the problem.
He has many mouths to feed.
(ii) The whole used to designate a part; as,
England (i.e., the English cricket eleven) won the first test match against Australia.
The phrase “gray beard” refers to an old man.
The word “sails” refers to a whole ship.
The word “suits” refers to businessmen.
The word “boots” usually refers to soldiers.

14. Transferred Epithet: -

A transferred epithet is a figure of speech in which an epithet(or adjective) grammatically qualifies a noun other than the person or thing it is actually describing
1. He passed a sleepless night.
2. The ploughman homeward plods his weary way.
3. "The new man wrote a question at which I stared in wide-eyed amazement:

15. Litotes: -is an understatement in which a positive statement is expressed by negating its opposite. ... The classic example of litotes is the phrase “not bad.” By negating the word “bad,” you're saying that something is good, or at least OK. However, in most contexts it's an understatement.
1. I am a citizen of no mean (= a very celebrated) city.
2. The man is no fool (= very clever).
3. I am not a little (= greatly) surprised.
4. He is not the friendliest person.
5. It wasn’t a terrible trip.
6. She is not unkind

16. Exclamation:- 

In this figure the exclamatory form is used to draw greater attention
to a point than a mere bald statement of it could do.
1. What a piece of work is man!
2. How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
3. O what a fall was there, my countrymen!
4. “What exceptional children these are!”

17. Climax: - is the arrangement of a series of ideas inthe order of increasing importance.
1. Simple, erect, severe, austere, sublime.
2. What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties! Inaction, how like an angel ! In apprehension, how like a god!

18. Anticlimax:- 

Anticlimax is the opposite of Climax-a sudden descent from higher to lower. It is chiefly used for the purpose of satire or ridicule.
1.    The soldier fights for glory, and a shilling a day.
  2.  She lost her husband, her children and her purse.
  3.  He is a great philosopher, a member of parliament and plays golf well.

19. Interrogation is asking of a question not for the sake of getting an answer, but to put a point more effectively.
Am I my brother’s keeper?
Who is here so vile that will not love his country?
When can their glory fade?
What men or gods are these?
Am I a fool to do such a thing?


Alliteration is a series of words that begin with the same letter. Alliteration consists of the repetition of a sound or of a letter at the beginning of two or more words.
     I.     Dirty dogs dig in the dirt.
     II.    Cute cats cooking carrots.
     III.    Some slimy snakes were slowly slithering.
     IV.   Purple pandas painted pictures
     V.    White whales waiting in the water.
     VI.    She sells seashells.


Onomatopoeia is a figure of speech where a word is used to represent a sound. When you name an action by imitating the sound associated with it, this is known as onomatopoeia.Examples of onomatopoeia are also commonly found in poems and nursery rhymes written for children. Onomatopoeic words produce strong images that can both delight and amuse kids when listening to their parents read poetry. Some examples of onomatopoeia poems for children are Baa Baa Black Sheep and Old Macdonald had a farm-eeaeeaoo
Zip goes the jacket
" Zip" is an onomatopoeia word because it sounds like a jacket is zipping up.
"Zip" is an example of onomatopoeia because it sounds like what it is. When you zip up a zipper the sound the zipper makes sounds like a zipper. Here are other onomatopoeia words:
Boom, bang, slash, slurp,
gurgle, meow,and woof
The buzzing bee flew away.
The sack fell into the river with a splash.
The books fell on the table with a loud thump.
He looked at the roaring sky.
The rustling leaves kept me awake.

22. Paradox is a statement or a general truth which may sound absurd or illogical, but on deeper analysis, it may make complete sense.

This is the beginning of the end.
Mozambique is a rich country of poor people.
The following sentence is true.
The above sentence is a lie.
Please ignore the notice.
O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face!

23. Tautology

Tautology is the use of unnecessary words to express the same idea.
Examples of Tautology:
The one sole survivor of the wreck was an American.
He dwelt in a lonely isolation.
Morning sunrise.
Me myself personally cordially invite you to the party.
“With malice toward none, and with charity for all.”
Bad writing is writing that lacks the qualities of good writing.
Say it over again once more.

24. Understatement

A figure of speech in which a writer or speaker deliberately makes a situation seem less important or serious than it is.
"The grave's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace."
(Andrew Marvell, "To His Coy Mistress")
In the middle of an intense thunderstorm: "We're having a little rain."
"The food was tolerable" - on the food that was prepared by the best chef in the world.
"Mumbai is not the cheapest place in the world" - instead of saying Mumbai is expensive.

25. Cliché

A cliché is an overused idea, word, phrase, orexpression that springs quickly to mind but soon
bores the user and the audience because itsfreshness and clarity had worn off.
After all is said and done.
Better late than never.
Believe it or not.
In a nutshell.
See eye to eye

26.Anaphora is a rhetorical term for when a writer or speaker repeats the same beginning of a sentence several times.
My life is my purpose. My life is my goal. My life is my inspiration.”
The wrong person was selected for the wrong job, at the wrong time, for the wrong purpose.”
Everything looked dark and bleak, everything looked gloomy, and everything was under a blanket of mist.”
“I want my money right now, right here, all right?”

27. Pathos

Pathos or the emotional appeal means to persuade an audience by appealing to their emotions. Pathos is the Greek word for both “suffering” and “experience.” The words empathy and pathetic are derived from pathos.
 "There is a cancer growing in our nation" may refer to the drug problem or violence.
Using the word "heartbroken" instead of sad
The pathos of the movie caused me to leave the theater with tears in my eyes.
The crooks used a pathos con to scam senior citizen into donating to a fake charity.

28. Assonance

Assonance takes place when two or more words, close to one another repeat the same vowel sound, but start with different consonant sounds.
We light fire on the mountain.
  • I feel depressed and restle
  • Go and mow the lawn.
  • Johnny went here and there and everywhere
  • The engineer held the steering to steer the vehicle.
Go slow over the road. (repetition of the long o sound)
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers (repetition of the short e and long i sounds)

18 December 2017

Group Discussion

Unit V
Group Discussion

Group Discussion
Group discussion is an important activity in academic, business and administrative spheres. It is a systematic and purposeful interactive oral process. Here the exchange of ideas, thoughts and feelings take place through oral communication. The exchange of ideas takes place in a systematic and structured way. The participants sit facing each other almost in a semi-circle and express their views on the given topic/issue/problem.
Why is a group discussion an important activity?
It is an effective tool in problem solving, decision making and personality assessment. GD skills may ensure academic success, popularity and good admission or job offer. Thus it is important to be able to take part in a GD effectively and confidently. Participants should know how to speak with confidence, how to exhibit leadership skills and how to make the group achieve the goals.
The objective of a selection in GD is mainly to check your team playing skills. You have to understand the other persons’ point of view, while making your point and ensure that your team as a whole reaches a solution or agreement that is both feasible and accepted by all team members.
Evaluation Components
There are four major areas of evaluation in selection GDs:
®  Subject knowledge,
®  Oral communication skills,
®  Leadership skills and
®  Team management
Subject Knowledge:
Participants must possess a thorough understanding of the topic on which they are supposed to speak. You must prepare yourself to talk on a wide range of subjects. Be abreast of the current events, national and international affairs, burning social and economical topics, scientific and environmental issues, key newspapers’ controversial topics and any experience that may be expected of an educated person. As a member of the group, you are expected to contribute substantially to the discussion. The originality of your ideas, your knowledge and initiative and your approach to the topic or case contribute to your success in the group discussion. The best way to equip yourself is to read daily newspapers, good magazines, national and international journals and also watch new bulletins and informative programmes on the television. Internet is the greatest boon which provides you with everything you are looking for. The World Wide Web is a vast database of current authentic materials that present information in multimedia form and reacts instantly to a user’s input.
The greater your knowledge of the subject, the more enthusiastic and confident you will be during the discussion. Once you have understood the topic or issue, you should be able to generate ideas as well as organize them so that you present it well. You will have the ability to analyze facts or information in a systematic way. A person putting forward new ideas that may work will be accepted as the natural leader of the group. The panel will observe the ideas put forward, their originality, the depth of analysis and their relevance to the topic.
Problem solving skills are essential and do not hesitate to give solutions. Your approach to the case study will be observed keenly by the evaluators.
Oral Communication Skills:
 If subject knowledge is important, communication skills is more important as without expression, the knowledge is of no use. As the exchange of ideas in a group discussion takes place through speech, one of the pre-requisites of success in a GD is the ability to speak confidently and convincingly. Good communication skills include active listening, clarity of though and expression, apt language and proper non verbal clues.
Listening Skills:
One of the weaknesses of most human beings is that we love to listen to our own voice rather than listen to others. Listening is as important as speaking in a GD, unless you listen, you cannot contribute to the stated purpose of communication. It is extremely important to listen very carefully, only then you will be able to pick up the thread of discussion and continue. Only active participation as a listener in a group makes a person a good leader. A leader is identified by the panel.
Clarity of thought and expression:
Clarity is the art of making yourself clear to the audience. Only when your expressions are clear, you can convince your team and the panel. More than words, it is the tone in which they are spoken that conveys the message. You should not be too loud or too soft. A lively and cheerful voice with appropriate modulations will attract the audience. Proper articulation of words, achieved through phonetic accuracy is very essential slang, and artificial accents are to be avoided.
Apt Language:
The flow of language must be smooth. Use simple language and avoid long winding sentences. Appropriateness of language demands that there should be no errors of grammar. Do not use unfamiliar phrases and flowery language. Be precise. Be polite and courteous.
Proper non verbal clues:
Non verbal clues include eye contact, body movements, gestures and facial expressions. The panel very keenly watches the non verbal behavior of the team. They generally evaluate the body language cues of the team to determine personality factors such as nervousness, co-operation, frustration, weakness, insecurity, self confidence, defensiveness, etc. A candidate who appears professional is more likely to be noticed by the panel. A confident posture, appropriate facial expressions and meaningful eye contact with the team will create a good expression.
Team behavior:
Your group behavior is reflected in your ability to interact with the other members of the group. You must be mature enough to not lose your temper even if you are proved wrong. You must be patient and balanced.
Your success in a GD depends on how well you play the role of initiator, information seeker, information giver, procedure facilitator, opinion seeker, opinion giver, clarifier, summarizer, social-supporter, tension reliever, compromiser, attacker, humorist and dominator.
The selection panel notes the differences in the amount of participation of the members. They observe the silent spectators, the ever dominating but not contributing much, member who participates actively exhibiting his knowledge and the moderate ones. Your ability lies in analyzing the problem well and making others to endorse your view. Finally while appreciating others point of view, you should effectively present yours without contradicting other’s opinions. Your ability in convincing the team is your success
Leadership Skills:
The success of any team depends to a larger extent on its leader. The panel evaluates a candidate’s personal skills which allow him to prove himself as a natural leader in the GD. Though there is no appointed leader in a GD, a leader emerges. Assertiveness, emotional stability, objectivity, selfconfidence, decision making, discretion, initiative, good communication skills, patience, persuasiveness and adaptability are some of the leadership qualities that are immensely useful in proving oneself as a natural leader in GD.
A good leader should neither be very authoritative nor submissive but must be democratic. Such leaders see to it that all the members in the team participate and when there is a problem, try to deal with it amicably. Leaders should know how to deal with the ‘bull dozers’, who make noise but do not have any logic.

Types of Group Discussion

A typical GD comprises a small group of candidates. Each group is then given a topic for discussion. The topic can be general or specific.

Topic-Based Group Discussion:

Elaborating on each, let’s read what each type of topic-based Group Discussion is all about:

Knowledge-Based Topics: Under this kind of group discussion, you require in-depth information about the topic been given to you. You should be able to support it with facts and figures. Your information should be substantial.

Abstract Topics

Under this type of a group discussion, the panellist gives a topic which is absolutely out of the box. Abstract topics are more about intangible things. These topics test your creativity and also, to some extent, your thinking ability. Such topics can be interpreted in different ways by the candidates. In such topics, your comprehension skills and communication skills are judged.

Controversial Topics

Such topics can lead to an argument, they’re argumentative in nature. They are meant to generate controversy and at the same time, judge the analytical skills of the participant to see if he/ she can think rationally, without any bias and arrive at a harmonious conclusion.
Such topics are  also given by the panelists so that they can judge the maturity level of the students and they don’t start screaming at other candidates., If, as a student, you  are not in favour of what another candidate is saying, then you should be smart enough to put across your point candidly without / bashing the speaker.

Case-Based Group Discussion:

Under a case-based group discussion, a situation or a scenario is left to students for an open discussion. The information about the situation will be provided to you, a problem regarding the same situation will be given, all you will be asked for is to resolve it. Topics given during this type of discussion are more management related, for example, the panelists might give you a situation which could be a conversation/argument between an employee and the boss etc.
These are open end discussions, wherein nobody is right or wrong, using their thinking ability they decide what they can do in such situations etc.  The panelist under the case-based group discussion, look for the decision-making skills, his/her ability to work in a team etc.
NOTE: IIM AIIM Indore and IIT SOM Mumbai have a case-based discussion rather than topic-based discussion in their selection procedures.
TIP 1: Be updated with the latest current affairs which will provide you to give facts and figures during a Group Discussion which will value addition for you.
TIP 2: Practice topics well in advance, manage a list of topics from various group discussions held in the previous years, consult your friends or seniors who have been through the same process.

Do’s of participating in a GD:
1.      Listen to the subject carefully
2.      Put down your thoughts on a paper
3.      Initiate the discussion if you know the subject well
4.      Listen to others if you don’t know the subject
5.      Support you point with some facts and figures
6.      Make short contribution of 25-30 seconds 3-4 times
7.      Give others a chance to speak
8.      Speak politely and pleasantly. Respect contribution from other members.
9.      Disagree politely and agree with what is right.
10.  Summarize the discussion if the group has not reached a conclusion.
Don’ts of participating in a Group Discussion
1.      Initiate the discussion if you do not have sufficient knowledge about the given topic.
2.      Over speak, intervene and snatch other’s chance to speak.
3.      Argue and shout during the GD
4.      Look at the evaluators or a particular group member
5.      Talk irrelevant things and distract the discussion
6.      Pose negative body gestures like touching the nose, leaning back on the chair, knocking the table with a pen etc.
7.      Mention erratic statistics.
8.      Display low self-confidence with shaky voice and trembling hands.
9.      Try to dominate the discussion
10.  Put others in an embarrassing situation by asking them to speak if they don’t want.
Body Language in a group discussion
One of the most important elements of communication is body language. Our gestures, hand movements, facial expressions etc come under body language.
When we communicate, it is very essential for us to have the correct body language to avoid offence to anyone.
1.         In a group discussion, Positive body gestures are a sign of confidence and security. They are a sign of active participation and leave a good impression.
2.         Positive gestures include Walking upright, Shaking hands confidently etc.
3.         Often body language conveys a lot of messages that words may not.
4.         A positive body language increases an impact on others.
5.         Body language helps to build a rapport with others.
6.         Body language helps to understand what others may try to convey.
7.         Body language helps to control aggression and conflicts.
8.         Body language can show you are energetic in a group discussion.

When communicating, it is important for us to have positive body gestures. Direct and steady eye contact is the most important of them.


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