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I came across this answer to the question "Which of the following best summarizes the main points of the argument?" In an LSAT practice test:

Balanced reporting requires impartially revealing injustices where they occur no less than fairly presenting the views of each party in a conflict.

I am having moderate difficulty parsing this sentence. Before the "no less than" the sentence is a pretty clear declaration. After the "no less than" the sentence is a readable sentence fragment. But it isn't really a quantity, so I am having trouble understanding the meaning of the entire sentence.

If it instead said:

Balanced reporting requires impartially revealing injustices where they occur no less than 5 times in a given week.

Even though this thought, guideline, or rubric might be questionable, the sentence itself makes sense.

So what is the meaning of the sentence in question?

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  • In the second case, you'd want to say "no fewer than five times," because the number of times is countable. When you're describing an uncountable quantity, "no less than" is the appropriate choice. – Sven Yargs Jun 26 '14 at 20:27
  • @Sven Yargs: Thanks, I have one less mistake to make in the future :) . – GuestGuestGuest Jun 26 '14 at 20:31
  • It is an awkward sentence, and I don't think very many writers would write it that way. The formula is A requires B no less than [it requires] C, but the omitted repetition of the verb does make the sentence a hard read. There are much more felicitous phrasings available. – bye Jun 26 '14 at 20:34
  • It is fair to elaborate on existing posts, but if you have new questions, please ask new questions in a new post, as it renders current answers obsolete. – anongoodnurse Jun 26 '14 at 21:36
  • @medica Ok, I'll ask it as a separate question. – GuestGuestGuest Jun 26 '14 at 21:38
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No less than applies to numbers, but it also means equally. as in no more, no less. Your example

Balanced reporting requires impartially revealing injustices where they occur no less than fairly presenting the views of each party in a conflict.

can be rewritten:

Balanced reporting equally requires impartiality (revealing injustices where they occur) and fairness (in presenting the views of each party in a conflict).

or

Balanced reporting requires impartiality no less than fairness.

The assumption is that fairness is presumed to be necessary to balanced reporting, but also impartiality no less than fairness.

At this juncture we need understanding no less than force, and wisdom no less than clear goals. - Bangor Daily news, 2004

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I believe that your sentence is similar to this one:

Surviving in the wilderness depends on knowing what not to eat no less than [it does on] knowing what is good to eat.

which is a fairly awkward convolution of

Surviving in the wilderness depends on knowing what not to eat as much as it does on knowing what is good to eat.

and you may find the latter form to be more understandable.

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