Logic

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Michel
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Logic

Post by Michel » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:31 pm

They built a bridge exactly halfway between London and Bristol. However I maintain that the Bristol is closer to the bridge than London.

How can it be?

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Politesse
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Post by Politesse » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:20 pm

[quote=""Michel""]They built a bridge exactly halfway between London and Bristol. However I maintain that the Bristol is closer to the bridge than London.

How can it be?[/quote]Because the Bristolian doesn't have to weather London traffic in order to get to it.
"The truth about stories is that's all we are" ~Thomas King

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Michel
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Post by Michel » Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:02 pm

[quote=""Politesse""]Because the Bristolian doesn't have to weather London traffic in order to get to it.[/quote]

Politesse oblige: Negative, ma'am!
The answer is in what I try to make you to conclude. Read again my sentence! :cool:

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MattShizzle
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Post by MattShizzle » Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:28 pm

I would say they built it there and then moved it to somewhere closer to Bristol.

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Michel
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Post by Michel » Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:38 pm

[quote=""MattShizzle""]I would say they built it there and then moved it to somewhere closer to Bristol.[/quote]

No, it is nothing like that. There is nothing that happened in excess to what I wrote. All is in what I wrote. Mind you, the original story was in Norwegian but I am pretty sure it can be told in English.

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Hermit
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Post by Hermit » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:10 pm

[quote=""Michel""]They built a bridge exactly halfway between London and Bristol. However I maintain that the Bristol is closer to the bridge than London.

How can it be?[/quote]the Bristol? A pub or something else named the Bristol?

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Michel
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Post by Michel » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:37 pm

[quote=""Hermit""]How can it be?[/quote]the Bristol? A pub or something else named the Bristol?[/QUOTE]

Good try, Hermit. But the answer is in the way I mislead the reader! :D
I'll wait until tomorrow (European time) before giving the correct answer. I hope you will enjoy it.

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MattShizzle
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Post by MattShizzle » Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:22 am

Only other possibility I see is that you are lying or mistaken in maintaining that Bristol is closer.

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Hermit
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Post by Hermit » Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:42 am

Got it now. Of course Bristol is closer to the bridge than Bristol is to London. :D

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MattShizzle
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Post by MattShizzle » Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:14 am

[quote=""Hermit""]Got it now. Of course Bristol is closer to the bridge than Bristol is to London. :D [/quote]

Hmmm. Doesn't really work in English if that's the case. Normally a sentence like this has (is) as understood at the end. The other way would be worded Bristol is closer to the bridge than it is to London. Nobody would ever consider someone saying "I'm closer to the goal than you" to mean "I am closer to the goal than I am to you."

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Michel
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Post by Michel » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:37 am

[quote=""Hermit""]Got it now. Of course Bristol is closer to the bridge than Bristol is to London. :D [/quote]

Yes, that's the idea, Hermit! :D

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Michel
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Post by Michel » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:39 am

[quote=""MattShizzle""]
Hermit;682150 wrote:Got it now. Of course Bristol is closer to the bridge than Bristol is to London. :D
Hmmm. Doesn't really work in English if that's the case. Normally a sentence like this has (is) as understood at the end. The other way would be worded Bristol is closer to the bridge than it is to London. Nobody would ever consider someone saying "I'm closer to the goal than you" to mean "I am closer to the goal than I am to you."[/QUOTE]

Okay. As I wrote earlier, I translated the question from Norwegian to English. I thought it would work since both languages are of Germanic origin and nearly common grammar. The Anglo-Saxons were coming from south Denmark and the Norwegian language is, actually, a Danish dialect.

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Post by Swammerdami » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:08 am

How would the sentence be phrased in German?
(Linguists Joseph Embley Emonds and Jan Terje Faarlund maintain that English is closer to Scandinavian languages than German. :D )

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Hermit
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Post by Hermit » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:48 am

[quote=""Swammerdami""]How would the sentence be phrased in German?[/quote]
Same way*. The puzzle exploits grammatical ambiguity which pedants like me regard as sloppiness and have no great difficulties detecting.

*"Die haben eine Brücke genau halbwegs zwischen Berlin und Karlsruhe gebaut. Doch sage ich das Karlsruhe näher zur Brücke ist als Berlin." In this case the insertion of "zu" between "als" and "Berlin" would immediately dispose of the grammatical ambiguity, but the principle underlying the grammatical sleight of hand (or sloppiness) is the same.

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Michel
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Post by Michel » Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:48 pm

You may, or may not have enjoyed this mind teaser but my motive was this: We are often misled in our thinking by propaganda or advertisement.

I recommend the book Nibbling on Einstein's Brain:

Nibbling on Einstein's Brain


For example, if I say that a survey showed that only 5 percent of the asked don't like my product XXX, what would you conclude? Probably that 95 percent liked it, right? Well, it may be that 5 percent didn't liked it, 10 percent liked it, 15 percent had no opinion and 70 percent had never heard of product XXX.

This kind of game with our brain happens every day in advertising, politic and religion.

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Shake
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Post by Shake » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:57 pm

[quote=""Hermit""]
Swammerdami;682160 wrote:How would the sentence be phrased in German?
Same way*. The puzzle exploits grammatical ambiguity which pedants like me regard as sloppiness and have no great difficulties detecting.

*"Die haben eine Brücke genau halbwegs zwischen Berlin und Karlsruhe gebaut. Doch sage ich das Karlsruhe näher zur Brücke ist als Berlin." In this case the insertion of "zu" between "als" and "Berlin" would immediately dispose of the grammatical ambiguity, but the principle underlying the grammatical sleight of hand (or sloppiness) is the same.[/QUOTE]

And even if you'd kept the English city names, this still works in German.

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