Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Taken from Wikipedia on Windows and Linux

However such an approach has indeed produced several vulnerabilities, although this is a rare case

Is that statement logically correct because it seems to contradict itself or am I just reading it wrong.

share|improve this question
add comment

4 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Indeed, considering the context:

Anyone with programming experience is free to fix bugs and submit them for inclusion in future releases and updates. However such an approach has indeed produced several vulnerabilities, although this is a rare case.

It could have been misunderstood to mean that "allowing anyone with programming experience to fix bugs" as a rare case, whereas in actuality, the sentence means "the vulnerabilities are rare cases, they do not happen often."

Yes, this sentence is ambiguous.

share|improve this answer
add comment

You're absolutely correct that the sentence could be better written, and other answers have given good suggestions.

If you're looking for a logical contradiction between several and rare, though, there is none. Several refers to the number of things (more than a few) whereas rare refers to a proportion of some population. If the population is large enough, than you can have rare things of which there are several: for example, several NBA players have been under six feet, but they are rare. In a very large population, rare cases can have even many instances: many people have eyes of different colours, but they are rare too!

share|improve this answer
add comment

I think that sentence sounds confusing because it shifts from plural (several vulnerabilities) to singular (case).

A better way to phrase it would be "However, in several rare cases, such an approach has produced vulnerabilities."

share|improve this answer
add comment

Agreed, it makes no sense as written.

Better expressed:

However, such an approach has indeed produced several vulnerabilities, although these are rare.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.