Questions pertaining to logical constructs

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18
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6answers
2k views

Is there a name for an argument that is also a counter-argument?

A person states an argument to support a position, but that argument could equally support the opposite position. Is there a name for such an argument? Or a phrase to describe the concept?
7
votes
6answers
467 views

The “Since… then” construction

Is the construction "Since... then" correct? E.g. Since it's a right triangle, then the Pythagorean theorem holds. It sounds and feels wrong to me, and I think someone once told me it's wrong, ...
0
votes
2answers
46 views

GRE Sentence Completion -2

It comes as no surprise that societies have codes of behavior; the character of the codes, on the other hand, can often be _________ . A) predictable B) unexpected C) admirable D) explicit E) ...
2
votes
4answers
171 views

GRE Sentence Completion Question

Select the two answer choices that, when used to complete the sentence, fit the meaning of the sentence as a whole and produce completed sentences that are alike in meaning. As my eyesight began ...
1
vote
4answers
66 views

“As a [noun]” followed by mismatching subject

There is one particularly commonly used language construct that I find logically incorrect. However, as a non-native English speaker, I can't decide authoritatively on whether the usage is actually ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

What is the word for an arbitrary simple example, typically used with proofs?

Typical usage is with math, or philosophy, proofs. Also typically the simple example disproves the theory, but is of a arbitrarily contrived nature and not something that would naturally arise. Is ...
1
vote
4answers
220 views

What English construction matches the Boolean condition of nand?

English language usage has some logical word pairs including: Or | Nor Either | Neither With | Without But there doesn't seem to be an opposition to the word "and". In computer engineering and ...
1
vote
4answers
127 views

Word or phrase for an argument that shows a claim is false? [closed]

What is a word or phrase for argument that shows the presupposition is false? E.g.: Someone said writing requires big hands. I showed them that someone can write well with small hands. ...
-1
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1answer
50 views

Synonym for a control structure that validates a non-trivial conditional expression

Say I have two doors: one can be entered by members, mailmen, and owners; and the other can be opened by owners. Access through either door is conditional, so I can't use that word to describe the ...
2
votes
2answers
87 views

Why can I not use “beg the question” to mean “raise the question” grammatically?

The formal definition of "beg the question" is a logical fallacy in which the initial assumption of a statement is treated as fact without offering any logic as to why the statement is true in the ...
10
votes
4answers
291 views

Does the word “and” always mean a logical (boolean) operation?

For a simple phrase like "macaroni and cheese" it's clear you want both macaroni and cheese, not one or the other. But as more and more words are added, I've noticed a tendency to begin to read "and" ...
0
votes
2answers
32 views

A synchronizes with B - which direction is the synchronization?

I read in a document that A will synchronize with B after a procedure. My question is: After the synchronization, will A be equal with B, or will B be equal with A? Edit: I want to clarify why I ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Logical meaning of “within 30 days” compared to “in 30 or fewer days” or “fewer than 30 days”

As I understand it, the phrase "within 30 days" is the same as "in 30 or fewer days" not "fewer than 30 days." Is this correct? (I've chosen fewer instead of less because days are a quantity that ...
3
votes
4answers
316 views

Overuse of “however” in my scientific writing? [closed]

In scientific writing, I always feel the need to logically connect all my sentences to have a clear logical path between beginning and end of a paragraph, else it is just feels like a list of random ...
6
votes
4answers
417 views

Adjective to describe “just because… doesn't necessarily mean…”

This is one of those phrases used very commonly (and apparently subject to lots of scrutiny on this website), but is difficult to define and also far too long to submit to a reverse dictionary. Let's ...
0
votes
2answers
122 views

“Any object in A and B”—What does it mean?

Does "any object in A and B" in English mean any object in A and any object in B; any object in A or any object in B; or any object in the intersection of A and B? Thanks a lot. Another ...
1
vote
6answers
168 views

Misinterpretation / Misrepresentation of statistics?

I'm looking for a single word or and expression for a faulty use of statistics. It can involve poor interpretation or representation of statistics or the false assumptions or logic that cause those ...
0
votes
3answers
609 views

“Neither A nor B is” vs. “A and B are not” [duplicate]

Consider the following sentences: John and Mary are not tall. Neither John nor Mary is tall Is the first one acceptable (especially in formal writing), or should I always use the second? Update: ...
-1
votes
1answer
48 views

“We proceed to a further generalization…” removing stuffy language from a technical paper [closed]

I am a math major, but sometimes I read the stuffy language in these papers and I really crack up. The worst part is, when I start writing I do exactly the same thing. Certain phrases used over and ...
3
votes
4answers
158 views

How to succinctly and clearly connote the reverse of a statement

Here's a published example of a problem I come across frequently: A cop is six times more likely to be shot by someone black than the opposite. Let us assume that the writer meant to say: ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

Why is “all . . . not” apparently more common than “not all ”?

For example, All that glitters is not gold is sort of a fixed term, and people often use the same “all . . . not” form when talking about things. See also the question “Is it wrong to use ‘not’ in ...
-1
votes
2answers
418 views

Can a sentence be grammatical without making sense?

Am I the only one whose athletic career bared fruit? While this sentence doesn’t make logical sense, seeing as it should be "bore fruit", is it still grammatically correct? Can a sentence that ...
13
votes
2answers
252 views

Where did the practice of using quotation marks to discredit an opponent (“scare-quotes”) come from?

This is a practice extremely prevalent on conspiracy theory blogs and social media (a.k.a., conspiracy theory blogs), but where did the concept of discrediting opponents with quotation marks come ...
0
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1answer
121 views

Abstract nouns and action verbs

I am looking for a term that defines the impossible connection of action with abstract nouns. For example, "War on Terror" (action noun- abstract noun), or "humans consume a high rate of energy" ...
0
votes
0answers
108 views

True opposite of Tacit, Explicit and Implicit knowledge?

In searching for the alternatives to explicit knowledge, I've been given two answers: implicit and tacit. While I can understand how both of these answers are true (and that implicit and tacit have ...
0
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1answer
34 views

logic of a since-clause that leads to the idea of the main clause as a reason

(If anyone could please help me with plain English, I would greatly appreciate it) I just don't understand why 'an entity typically ...' can be reason enough to support the notion of 'the vast ...
5
votes
2answers
583 views

Is it correct to use “or” in place of “and/or”?

Consider the following sentence: A project is a large and/or complex undertaking. To me, the expression “and/or” seems redundant since in formal logic “or” implies ...
0
votes
1answer
131 views

Does this paragraph make sense? [closed]

I'm doing an argumentative essay. The question is: "Is it a good idea to adopt a child?". Background: Juliet is a famous writer, but she went through her childhood as an orphan child. Kit is an ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

“We will never have x until we can do y”

I heard this in a science lecture. Is this a correct use of the word "never"? I'm not a native English speaker, but for me, "never" means we know that there's is no point in time (past, present or ...
42
votes
10answers
5k views

“Childlessness is hereditary in our family” What do you call a statement containing a contradiction such as the example?

This kind of sentence is usually absurd and may or may not be recognized as such by the person who utters it. She will regret it till the day she dies, if she lives that long! "Aren't you going to ...
1
vote
1answer
302 views

Can a sentence be both a tautology and an oxymoron?

Sometimes I encounter sentences that are very difficult to unpack into coherent thought. Sentences with tautological double or triple negatives; and sentences where one part contradicts another in ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

What's a phrase to describe this situation?

Let's say hypothetically a country proactively allocate millions of tax dollars towards creating vaccines and setting up camps to quarantine and prevent the spread of Ebola in a neighbouring country. ...
-1
votes
2answers
77 views

What does 'people of all races incorrectly estimated X' mean exactly? [closed]

My question concerns user Dan Bron's comment (but now deleted), marginally emended below: The statement 1. "people of all races incorrectly estimated X", means 2. "At least one person of every ...
1
vote
1answer
111 views

Some + Countable Noun: True Only When Plural?

Assume there are multiple books on a shelf. At least one book is red. At least one book is blue. Sentence in dispute: Some of the books are red. Is this sentence false if only one book is red? ...
0
votes
0answers
77 views

A word or term for extrapolation fallacy or using results beyond their context? [Solved]

I am looking for a word or term that means something like: you are using previous results outside boundaries of the original experiment/observation earlier experience/results does not apply in all ...
2
votes
4answers
444 views

What is the verb form of “conjunction” in the logical sense?

In logic and computer programming, a conjunction of two logical statements is said to be true if and only if both statements are themselves true. For instance: "The sky is blue" and "the grass is ...
3
votes
4answers
214 views

What is the name of the “agency” fallacy?

I'm looking for the name of the logical fallacy where intent or agency is assumed when in fact there is none. It's a common fallacy in my experience, but I can't seem to find it described ...
2
votes
2answers
223 views

Ambiguity in Negation: “John did not come because of the rain”

John did not come because of the rain. This sentence seems to allow the following two completely different interpretations. John did not come. And the reason was the rain. John came. But the ...
-3
votes
1answer
315 views

Are all Congressmen idiots? [closed]

Really couldn't resist the question title :-) This question asks about the famous quote by Mark Twain: Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. ...
21
votes
10answers
5k views

Is “I believe x does not equal y” the same as “I don't believe x equals y”

Given x and y could be any phrase, do these phrases always mean the same thing? If not, what's the difference? I believe x does not equal y I don't believe x equals y
10
votes
8answers
6k views

Word/phrase/idiom to describe avoiding answering a question by stating the question doesn't need to be asked

I run into this situation often in the office. I have a specific question to ask somebody and have chosen the person to ask it, but that person doesn't know the answer. Instead of answering the ...
1
vote
1answer
130 views

What do you call this (these) writing “fallacies”

I just read this answer on Chinses.Stackexchange, and I see some obvious logical "leaps of faith" that I would like to know their most accurate and concise labels. Many thought it is difficult to ...
3
votes
4answers
929 views

A word for when two statements are both true or both false

Is there a word which basically means that there are two statements that are both true, or both false, but not one true and one false? In computing, we call this a bitwise and. 3 * 3 = 9 4 * 4 = 16 ...
0
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2answers
280 views

Is there a difference between “being selected” and “being pre-selected”?

I am reviewing a document where it is stated that something is part of a set of pre-selected items. To me that doesn't make sense. Isn't everything selected also pre-selected by definition? I mean ...
0
votes
10answers
227 views

Boolean OR in English

What is the English equivalent of boolean-OR, which conveys the meaning of "either of the options or both", as opposed to XOR, which conveys the meaning of "strictly one or the other"? "Either or ...
0
votes
2answers
168 views

How multiple quantifiers in a sentence are interpreted

Someone sleeps everyday. Does this mean that there is someone who sleeps everyday or that everyday someone sleeps?
-1
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2answers
172 views

Is “to take part to join us” a valid sentence?

I've seen it quite many times but it sounds like it repeats same thing twice?
9
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7answers
1k views

Word or term for an argument that is inherently true

What do you call an argument/position that is impossible to counter because it depends on undefined adjectives/adverbs? Examples: Good websites are the ones that are effectively designed. ...
0
votes
1answer
117 views

Why do people use the word “or” when offering a translation?

I have encountered many times speakers & authors who use the word "or" in the process of translating. Here is an example I ran across tonight: Could you keep a different kind of fast such as a ...
6
votes
2answers
716 views

Would the rejection of an argument because of a grammatical error be a type of logical fallacy?

Many people may have experienced situations (often online) where someone dismisses another's argument not on the merits of the argument, but because of a grammatical (or, more generally, mechanical) ...