Questions pertaining to logical constructs

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2
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1answer
17 views

Do comparisons make up a special case for understanding either/or as a logical operator?

This question was prompted by a friend who is a fluent speaker of English but not a native one. Consider the following cases: I either eat the apple or the orange. I eat: apple XOR orange. I eat ...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

Diversify the preposition “by” in “model X by smth.”

Which prepositions can be used with the verb "model" when speaking about something being an abstract description of something else? As an example, let us consider the following sentences: The ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

Using improbable premise(s) to reach a conclusion

Is there a name for a fallacy that involves using an improbable premise or premises to reach a desired conclusion? For example saying (exaggerated to better convey what is meant): "You should always ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

Is there a phrase for “assuming facts to be correct in a statement”?

There is a kind of error or fallacy I often see, which is close to "Begging the Question", but I understand that the true meaning of "Begging the Question" is closer to "circular reasoning". The ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Which fallacy is this?

It is fallacious to call Holocaust trivialisation antisemitism. If you have said something which makes you sound as if you think the Holocaust was a trivial thing, that does not mean you think it was ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Why would “to center around” be illogical? [duplicate]

I have seen the discussions of "to center on" vs "to center around", and usually the argument is that "to center X around Y" is illogical. The counter-argument is generally that it is an idiom and ...
3
votes
2answers
40 views

What's the name for when a layman thinks a technical task is easier than it actually is?

As a software engineer, my job is highly technical. A co-worker and I were remarking that frequently our non-technical co-workers will assume that we're not working if a task takes longer than they ...
19
votes
8answers
18k views

Does “either A or B ” preclude “both A and B”?

In mathematics, "A or B" includes "A and B". Does "either" mean "A or B but not (A and B)" or does it include the possibility of "A and B"? The context might be mathematics, formal logic or ordinary ...
9
votes
9answers
38k views

“Neither can live while the other survives”— does it make logical sense?

At the end of the fifth book of Harry Potter, "The Order of Phoenix", there is a prophecy concerning Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort: The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord ( Lord ...
1
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2answers
77 views

“Unless” in implication

While learning about implications in predicate logic I came across a conditional statement, Statement P is true implies statement Q is true is equivalent to Statement Q is true unless ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

Is there a common English phrase for the 'so absurd it must be true' logical fallacy?

There are various common (often Latin) phrases for various logic fallacies, such as post hoc ergo propter hoc, argumentum ad populum, slippery slope fallacy, etc. Is there a common phrase used to ...
8
votes
1answer
8k views

Difference between “subsequently” and “consequently”?

When studying and reading course material in "softer" sciences that are descriptive the word "subsequently" appears in a way like "and subsequently" ...what does it mean, disctinct from "consequently" ...
1
vote
2answers
53 views

How to express the fact that clauses in a compound logical statement are connected by “AND”?

Say, I have three independent logical clauses, a, b, and c, and they are connected into one logical statement (a∧b∧c). How do I express this succinctly? Can I say, "a, b, and c are connected ...
2
votes
4answers
76 views

Short human descriptions for logic's AND, OR and NOT

In a user interface, we are offering the user to combine searches using either AND, OR or NOT http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/logic-gate-AND-OR-XOR-NOT-NAND-NOR-and-XNOR We have little ...
4
votes
2answers
361 views

What fallacy is this? “Your argument is wrong/invalid because it's just an opinion.”

I encounter this fallacy frequently in online discussions where an opponent completely disregards all of my premises and says my conclusion is invalid because it's an "opinion" and "not objective." ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

what does “showing the fly the way out of the fly-bottle” literally means?

I saw this expression: "the aim of the activity is "to show the fly the way out of the fly-bottle". " (It is connected with this other expression: "I don't know my way about".) I grasped the ...
5
votes
3answers
395 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 sites.
1
vote
3answers
55 views

Negators in sentences that switch the meaning of “and” and “or”

In a sense, this is a follow up to the question Use of “and” and “or” in lists when intent is to disallow all items. An answer states "Or has the meaning of and when it is inside a negated sentence.", ...
0
votes
3answers
86 views

Sentence Structure Violations

I am proofreading an essay by someone whose first language is not English. The following sentence I know, just by reading, is not right: All of the Algerians are still one of the individuals who ...
4
votes
1answer
81 views

Use of “and” and “or” in lists when intent is to dissallow all items

Sometimes it is unclear to me whether "or" or "and" should be used in a list. For example I have seen the following lease agreement: The dwelling may not be used for illegal activities: including ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it really possible to be “half dead”?

It is not all-too-rare to hear of someone being "half-dead," but is that logical, or possible? If so, how do you determine just how dead, percentage-wise, a person is? If it's possible to be 50% ...
12
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7answers
5k views

Does 'some' necessarily imply 'not all'?

If some X's are Y's, does that imply that some X's are not Y's?
6
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3answers
656 views

Is there a term for it when you use an obviously false statement to highlight the falsity or absurdity of another?

For example, person A states something. Person B says "And pigs fly" to imply person A was wrong. If there's no term for it, what could you call that that sounds smart?
1
vote
1answer
135 views

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

Normally, "or" is used in situations where either side of the "or" can be true: I want an easy job or a short job. The job can be easy, the job can be short, or the job can be both easy and ...
0
votes
1answer
895 views

Which is more correct: 'Instilled upon' or 'Instilled within'?

They are similar enough to generally not cause an issue of clarity in a sentence, but I am curious which of these is more logically sound: It was instilled upon me at an early age. or It ...
3
votes
3answers
127 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
818 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, ...
18
votes
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?
2
votes
4answers
238 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
115 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) ...
1
vote
4answers
89 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
298 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
207 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. Therefore,...
-1
votes
1answer
60 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
128 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
893 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
392 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
44 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
787 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
199 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
344 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
3k 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
61 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
86 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
199 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
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0answers
69 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
320 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 from?...
-1
votes
2answers
848 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 makes ...
0
votes
1answer
255 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" (...