View Full Version : A unclear question

October 17th, 2011, 09:23 PM

"If a card has a even number, then will the opposite side be red?"
This is a question of logic, or rather, dishonesty.
The reason for this is that we speak languages that says that "A implies B, and then B must imply A" by default.
Would it be more correct to ask:
"If I flip the card with a even number, will I get a red card?"

(in the wein of other similar silly threads, such as the math equation where somebody forgot to make it clear what was written)

October 17th, 2011, 09:44 PM
Unclear is the word for all that. Yes. It's interesting, all the ways people can cloud an issue and make it more difficult to understand correctly. The interesting thing about it is that it shows how the brain tries to correct mistakes and omissions automatically, doing such a good job that it's a wonder that people can make these types of mistakes in their thinking.

October 17th, 2011, 09:54 PM
This is why I sometimes distrust written tests. The person setting the test usually has a particular answer in mind, and alternative interpretations of the questions don't always sit comfortably with the answer key.

October 17th, 2011, 09:57 PM
Our language is dumb. That is why we need math and programming languages and so on, we need languages that are unambiguous.

October 18th, 2011, 02:28 AM
I don't think the second question has the same implications as the first question.

October 18th, 2011, 01:08 PM
I don't think the second question has the same implications as the first question.

I agree there.
But its quite bothersome when you look at it: From a "ends to the means" or a "logical perspective" both of the questions are the same, but from a lingual standpoint they are completely different and imply completely different things.

I also did some Googeling today: Finding reading materials on how to read poor/undefined English is hard to find.
While English is not my native language, I thought I would find something.
I also searched for the same in my own language, and I could not find anything either. Which is really bothersome because I am attempting to pass some written tests based on poorly defined questions and answers.

Copper Bezel
October 18th, 2011, 01:18 PM
But they're not logically the same. One question is about the card, the other is about the person asking the question, and the latter makes extra assumptions about the situation. It's possible for one to be true without the other (since it's only the implied rules of the game that make "choosing" and "getting" the same.)