Questions pertaining to logical constructs

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3
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4answers
152 views
+50

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 ...
1
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0answers
29 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
207 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
84 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
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6answers
94 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
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3answers
99 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
40 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
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2answers
74 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
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4answers
133 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: ...
0
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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 ...
12
votes
2answers
224 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 ...
9
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8answers
13k 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
198 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
57 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" ...
41
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 ...
0
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0answers
59 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
votes
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
votes
5answers
3k views

The size of my confusion is “second to none”

Why "second to none" is being considered as "the best" instead of "the worst" (almost non existent)? To my understanding - "none" is "nonexistent", while "second to none" should be... well... almost ...
6
votes
1answer
208 views

Historical frequency of expression “and/or”: Corpus search

What is the historical frequency of the expression “and/or”? I have a feeling that I almost never see it in older texts, but that it is has become exponentially common in the past five or ten years. ...
4
votes
2answers
431 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 ...
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
0
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1answer
86 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
54 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 ...
1
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1answer
195 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
72 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
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1answer
81 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
57 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 ...
0
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2answers
143 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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4answers
266 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
170 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
vote
2answers
166 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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votes
1answer
239 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. ...
2
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3answers
194 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
834 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
570 views

Does this logical fallacy have a name?

A phrase being used by the "news" media regarding the recent arrest of people in Columbus, NM is "firearms favored by the Mexican cartels", referring to their purchase of AK47s and other ...
10
votes
8answers
5k 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
121 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
734 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
228 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
196 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
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1answer
108 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 ...
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2answers
129 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. ...
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5answers
12k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
510 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) ...
8
votes
5answers
67k views

“Centered on” or “centered around”

I have often heard presenters talking about something centered around another thing, but it seems a bit illogical and hence improper to talk like this. Am I right about this?
1
vote
3answers
479 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
187 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
72 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
vote
2answers
136 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).