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Is it correct to use phrase "Making a binary decision" for the decision which is not well thought out.

Example: As a president you can not make such a binary decision.

Are there any references for such usage?

closed as off-topic by FumbleFingers, Tim Lymington supports Monica, tchrist, Rory Alsop, user66974 May 23 '14 at 8:15

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    No, that's not what it means. A binary decision is one that forecloses all alternatives; a yes/no decision. Whether it's well thought out or nor is not part of the meaning. – John Lawler May 22 '14 at 20:05
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    Having looked in the OED, the meaning of 'binary' might probably extend far enough for you to be technically correct. But I think it would be a confusing remark. The term 'binary' is nowadays so closely identified with the binary arithmetical system and computing, that anyone hearing you would immediately imagine that was what you were talking about. – WS2 May 22 '14 at 20:11
  • @WS2 exactly that's what happened :) – Kiran Pagar May 22 '14 at 20:13
  • But I posted before I saw @John Lawler's comment and so far as 'binary decision' is concerned I'm sure he is right. – WS2 May 22 '14 at 20:31
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That's not really what Binary means. A "binary decision," though it's not a standard expression would be a decision between two options, such as yes versus no, or red versus white wine.

I think what you mean to say is an "arbitrary decision." A decision is "arbitrary" if it is made made without good reason or on a whim.

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    I think you're absolutely right that OP has conflated binary/arbitrary. – FumbleFingers May 22 '14 at 20:31
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    Agreed. Good call. Answering the question they'd ask if they knew how to -- the basis of all teaching. – John Lawler May 22 '14 at 20:35
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No. It is commonly used to indicate that you are choosing between two options and only two options. The example itself is wrong, because a President can indeed decide to make a binary decision. He can, for instance, choose to pardon the turkey at Thanksgiving or not.

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