Read the following passage, which contains some underlined or numbered words or phrases.
Each of the answer choices contains alternatives for the underlines; choose the one that fits best grammatically or stylistically. If you think the original is the best answer, choose Choice ‘A’, or NO CHANGE.
Questions about specific parts of the passage or about the passage as a whole are identified by numbers only, not underlines. These will be associated with specific questions.
The X Games, an annual event sponsored and arranged by the ESPN broadcasting station, has exposed viewers to
many an insanely dangerous new sporting event. Participants compete for prizes, medals, money and, no doubt,
bragging rights. Among the events that have been broadcast, include extreme forms of skateboarding, skiing,
skydiving, motocross, inline skating, and rock, cliff and ice-climbing stunts. While skydiving is an exciting and death-
defying sport, wingsuit flying gives the skydiver the ability to travel tremendous distances at high speeds, even
though the suit reduces the vertical velocity. Jumping up and down on a pogo stick, while amusing, pales in comparison
to Xpogo, which allows the performer (5) using specially modified pogo sticks to reach over ten feet in the air. Another,
and perhaps more whimsical, sport continues to grab headlines in extreme sporting circles: extreme ironing.
An English gentleman by the name of Phil Shaw in 1997 is credited with the invention of extreme ironing. Phil (or
“Steam”) Shaw claims that after a hard day of work, and torn between the tasks of ironing and the desire to go rock
climbing, decided to accomplish both tasks at the same time. This serendipitous clash of “Steam” Shaw’s desires
eventually led to the formation of Extreme Ironing International and the Extreme Ironing Bureau, both of which
promote the sport by describing it as “a danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with
the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt.” Part of the media interest and attraction of the sport is undoubtedly the
slyly ironic, and humorous nature of the “sport.”
This is an adventurous sport in which participants take ironing boards to remote locations to iron items of clothing.
Locations where extreme ironing has taken place include forests, caves, deserts, cliff tops and in the middle of a
busy freeway during rush hour. Extreme ironing can also be done while doing other extreme sports. Extreme ironers
have done so while skydiving, surfing, and scuba diving under an ice-covered lake. The sport can also be attempted
while perched in or on various forms of transportation, for example, while standing in the open bay of a military
helicopter flying over a desert, or perched on a platform on the back bumper of a taxi speeding through the busy
streets of a large city.
Extreme ironing has many compelling features for those who wish to participate in extreme sporting events, but lack
the skills or resources to participate in other extreme sporting events. If one wishes to volcano surf, one must fly to
Cerro Negro, Nicaragua, possess some surfing skills, risk breathing poisonous gasses, and face disfigurement by
getting gashed by volcanic ash or burned by flying blobs of molten lava. Powerbocking is a sport involving running
and jumping with spring-loaded stilts, which requires one to purchase special and quite expensive equipment. To take
up extreme ironing, all one needs is an ironing board, an iron (battery-powered, if possible) and a desire to press one’s
clothing in an unusual location. Most people will not find it difficult to obtain the required equipment, and all one
needs is some small talent for pressing clothes and the imagination to choose a thrilling, diverting or shocking location.
Perhaps, one could combine extreme ironing with extreme sports. For example, there are no recorded proponents of
the sport who have attempted to iron extremely whilst wingsuit flying, Xpogoing or volcano surfing. This writer most
heartily endorses extreme ironing, and encourages the development of this and other “urban housework” sports,
perhaps even as Olympic events!
Created for Albert.io. September 2014
Jumping up and down on a pogo stick, while amusing, pales in comparison to Xpogo, which allows the performer (5) using specially modified pogo sticks to reach over ten feet in the air.