Questions pertaining to logical constructs

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3answers
70 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
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1answer
39 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
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4answers
129 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: ...
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0answers
44 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 ...
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2answers
165 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 ...
12
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2answers
219 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
45 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
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0answers
52 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
28 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 ...
4
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2answers
395 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
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1answer
71 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
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1answer
51 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 ...
41
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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
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1answer
169 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
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1answer
70 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. ...
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2answers
72 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
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1answer
79 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
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0answers
55 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 ...
1
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4answers
225 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
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4answers
166 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 ...
1
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2answers
152 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 ...
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1answer
228 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
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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
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8answers
4k 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 ...
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1answer
120 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 ...
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4answers
680 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 ...
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2answers
212 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
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10answers
189 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 ...
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2answers
140 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?
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2answers
122 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
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1answer
106 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
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2answers
456 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) ...
1
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3answers
459 views

How do definitions of words imbue meaning? [closed]

How do definitions of words imbue meaning? To give you a gist of what I try to discover, I'll define a collection of sets of words and show that their intersection contains all 'circular defined' ...
1
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1answer
177 views

Why is there no word for and/or? [closed]

It seems like it would be really useful to have a single word like "anor" instead of the clunky "and/or" construction that people use. After all, "or" by itself is usually used to mean "exclusive or" ...
0
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1answer
67 views

Is this a logically symmetric relation: “X must be consistent with Y”

Does it follow that if I make the statement "X must be consistent with Y" that "Y must be consistent with X"? I'm hoping to hear this answered from a linguistics perspective, specifically related to ...
1
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2answers
135 views

What is the difference between “It is raining” and “'It is raining' is true?” [closed]

"It is raining." "'It is raining' is true." Does "is true" make any difference? Thanks. This link gives context to this question and testify that I'm not a nut (yet).
2
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4answers
324 views

Justifying one wrong thing by comparing it its opposite which is also wrong

Is there a word or name for the phenomenon or syndrome in which people try to defend one wrong thing by comparing it something that is total opposite of it but also wrong? For example: Drone ...
0
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1answer
199 views

Discrete data vs cumulative data [closed]

1)Can we use discrete data as antonym for cumulative data ? 2)can discrete data be cumulative data? Simple yes/no in both cases would suffice.
2
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3answers
188 views

Name for logical fallacy of “implied guilt”?

For example; "No puppies were harmed in the making of this soda", implying that puppies are generally harmed in the production of soda, and thus casting the competition in a bad light. Is there a ...
2
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3answers
282 views

Is English particularly well suited for so-called “natural language programming”?

Programming languages like sEnglish, Inform7, WolframAlpha, and even AppleScript purport to use the "natural language programming" (NLP) paradigm. Even SQL is a kind of NLP, if you think about it. ...
0
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1answer
149 views

Logical fallacy brain-freeze

There must be a name for this sort of after-the-fact non-argument. Sorry, this is the only way I could find to describe it. Debbie finds a kitten. Kitten has been burned over half its body, but ...
0
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1answer
75 views

Designators, quantifications and predicates in Predicate Logic [closed]

So, I got my Predicate Logic exercises back, and I had apprently made one mistake. What is annoying is that I don't know why. The taks was to identify all the designators and predicates in a certain ...
0
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1answer
69 views

Is 'an eye' a designator?

I realize this may be a super-rookie question, but I have to ask. It is in connection with my logic module. Is 'an eye' in this sentence a designator? I was told to keep an eye on him I know ...
1
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1answer
321 views

(GRE) Parallel Structures

The following is a sample question taken from the revised version of the ETS-administered Graduate Record Examination (GRE). I normally try hard to understand the logic behind selecting the choices ...
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1answer
58 views

Many to one or many to many

Record A is linked to case 1 Record B is linked to case 2 Record C is linked to case 3 Which of the following sentences is correct? There are 3 records linked to a case There are 3 ...
4
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2answers
223 views

At least two or more: Not always redundant?

At least two or more Is the “or more” bit above ever not redundant? Seems absolutely redundant to me, but it gets about 170 million Google hits, and many from government sites and university ...
1
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1answer
125 views

What does “Graduates from business school or Economics with mathematical background” mean?

Hello I have a question about "English logic". For instance on a job offer I see this requirement: Graduates from business school or economics with mathematical background. So If I ...
4
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4answers
765 views

What's the logical fallacy where people dismiss what you say as irrelevant to the real-world?

Quite often I see derision about ideas by people who label them as 'too academic'. Often this appears to result from laziness or an unwillingness to stretch their thinking. What's the logical ...
0
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1answer
91 views

Which logical fallacy pushes through something as though it were fact and creates a point of contention afterwards to distract? [closed]

For example: "To corrupt society by allowing violent video games is something only a mother could understand." The point of contention is likely to be the latter part, where you'd be tempted to say ...