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      12-20-2008, 03:33 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveC View Post
Exactly. Which is why a lot of people on the PH thread are actually correct and NFS who I often find myself agreeing with is talking out of the bit of his anatomy which should be in contact with the heated seats.

Both A and C are correct answers. Answer C because it is genuinely impossible to tell but because of the way the question is phrased (poor use of English) A is also correct. From a logic point of view answer C (impossible to tell allows the possible answers "he was the bad guy" or "he wasn't the bad guy" which is the same as saying "he may have been the bad guy". C = A.

A is my answer because it makes a positive statement about something, i.e. it's including this Stuart person in the list of possible suspects based on the information available whereas C sounds like you are pissing off down the pub on friday afternoon and saying "I dunno".
I still think it's C, but I can understand the argument in favour of A.

The problem is that MAY is a surprisingly hard word to pin down. My dictionary says that MAY expresses 'capability' and 'permission'.

In other words if something MAY happen then it must be:

1. Possible for it to happen
2. Permissable for it to happen

A means - He MAY be the bad guy
B means - He can not be the bad guy
C includes both of the above.

The people who pick A believe that "MAY BE" is valid if he is (or is not) the bad guy. Their argument is that the statement includes all outcomes, so it must be true.

I think that the statement can only apply if it is actually possible for him to be the bad guy.

Because they are giving you a condition - that the bad guys are youths. I think they are inviting you to consider that the statement would be false if Stuart is not a youth.

For that reason I think C is safer, but you can also argue that A is correct.
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      12-20-2008, 03:46 PM   #46
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I think this 'exercise' is a very interesting insight into the human physchi and I am assuming that it is used in the training of police officers to clearly show the importance of writing a factual statement based on the facts alone and not opinions.

I agree, it can be argued that 'A' is the answer. I chose 'C' based on the 'facts' of the information provided within the whole statement ie. no conclusive facts at all. In legal terms, the statement doesn't say anything in particular apart from the fact that the school was vandalised.

Have you got anymore examples Simon?
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      12-20-2008, 10:52 PM   #47
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Stuart MAY be a youth. So then Stuart MAY be one of the youths that vandalized the school.
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      12-21-2008, 03:46 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beemerbird View Post
I think this 'exercise' is a very interesting insight into the human physchi and I am assuming that it is used in the training of police officers to clearly show the importance of writing a factual statement based on the facts alone and not opinions.
Actually it probably says more about the poor standards of English in this country and the type of morons who get paid to come up with these tests. I'm guessing its an accident not a deep and insightful question.
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      12-21-2008, 08:34 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalTech View Post
Stuart MAY be a youth. So then Stuart MAY be one of the youths that vandalized the school.
The ONLY thing we know about Stuart Brown is that he owns a motorcycle.

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines the word may as, "used to indicate possibility or probability". In that regard the statement "Stuart may be one of the youths that vandalized the school." is true. However, the use of the word youths restricts the group of vandals to persons of a particular age group.

Again consulting Merriam-Webster, the term youth is "a young person; especially :a young male between adolescence and maturity." Stuart MAY be middle aged in which case he doesn't fit the definition of youth. Therefore, Stuart CAN NOT be one of the YOUTHS that vandalized the school and the statement is false.

With just the information we are given, and keying on the single word may, the statement in question can be interpreted as both true and false. You can not determine conclusively the validity of the statement as true or false without the absolute knowledge of whether or not Stuart is a youth and that information is not given.
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      12-21-2008, 09:23 AM   #50
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Why correlate Stuart with Stuart Brown though?
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      12-21-2008, 11:53 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveC View Post
Actually it probably says more about the poor standards of English in this country and the type of morons who get paid to come up with these tests. I'm guessing its an accident not a deep and insightful question.
It turns out that the question was misquoted, the original is much simpler:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Test
On Saturday 14th June the grounds man for the Bourne bowls club discovered that the green had been damaged. In consequence, the afternoon bowls match had to be cancelled. On Monday the police discovered the damage had been caused by motorcyclists performing "wheelies". It is also known:

. The grounds man is a motorcycle enthusiast.
. Stuart Brown owns a Motorcycle
. A club member had recently been expelled for bad behavior
. The grounds man was the only one with access to the club when the club was closed
. A group of youths had an altercation with a member on Friday evening.

Consider the following statement:

"Stuart Brown may have been one of the youths causing the damage."

Answer A if the statement is true

Answer B if the statement is false

Answer C if it is impossible to tell if the statement if true or false.
Let's see how you get on with that one !
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      12-21-2008, 12:06 PM   #52
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shoot the bastard and ask questions later
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      12-21-2008, 12:23 PM   #53
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"On Saturday 14th June the grounds man for the Bourne bowls club discovered that the green had been damaged. In consequence, the afternoon bowls match had to be cancelled. On Monday the police discovered the damage had been caused by motorcyclists performing "wheelies". It is also known:

. The grounds man is a motorcycle enthusiast.
. Stuart Brown owns a Motorcycle
. A club member had recently been expelled for bad behavior
. The grounds man was the only one with access to the club when the club was closed
. A group of youths had an altercation with a member on Friday evening.

Consider the following statement:

"Stuart Brown may have been one of the youths causing the damage."

Answer A if the statement is true

Answer B if the statement is false

Answer C if it is impossible to tell if the statement if true or false."



Blimey, it's like chinese whispers this lol.

I'll assume it's meant to be Bourne in Lincolnshire as it would fit the bowls theme.

Again, I maintain the answer is 'C' in the absence of any actual proof and evidence. No conviction could possibly be made based on any of the above. Supersition is of course a different matter.

The groundsman isn't going to cause himself any extra work by damaging the green pulling wheelies on his motorcycle, if indeed he owns a motorcycle and is not purely an enthusiast, and it certainly doesn't infer he has any axe to grind with his employer. Of course he has access to the club. Statement doesn't say whether the youths broke in or if the area was easily accessible. I'm assuming all this in the absence of any evidence to the contrary.

Stuart, again, we don't know how old he is, and the statement says motorcycles(s).

A club member recently expelled......hmm, unless he's a total muppet he wouldn't do anything like that drawing attention to himself. Check his alibi and access to a mototrcycle.

Most of us if honest, are going to be drawn to the youths having an altercation with a club member on the Friday evening then bugger me the green is damaged or rather the damage is discovered on the Saturday morning. Again, it simply states a 'group of youths'. Were they in possession of motorcycles at the time, how severe was the altercation, are they local youths easily identified or known trouble causers.

Of course 'A' is a possibility but 'may' is not unequivocal proof and should not be used imo, unless a witch hunt is the order of the day.
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      12-21-2008, 12:45 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NFS View Post
It turns out that the question was misquoted, the original is much simpler:
Quote:
Originally Posted by test
On Saturday 14th June the grounds man for the Bourne bowls club discovered that the green had been damaged. In consequence, the afternoon bowls match had to be cancelled. On Monday the police discovered the damage had been caused by motorcyclists performing "wheelies". It is also known:
  • The grounds man is a motorcycle enthusiast.
  • Stuart Brown owns a Motorcycle
  • A club member had recently been expelled for bad behavior
  • The grounds man was the only one with access to the club when the club was closed
  • A group of youths had an altercation with a member on Friday evening.
Consider the following statement:

"Stuart Brown may have been one of the youths causing the damage."

Answer A if the statement is true
Answer B if the statement is false
Answer C if it is impossible to tell if the statement if true or false.
Let's see how you get on with that one !
I think the answer to this one is simpler, too. There is nothing in the presented facts that supports the statement that the damage was done by the group of youths. Semantics are irrelevant here.

The fact that ...

...the damage was done doing "wheelies" is immaterial. Whoop-de-doo; they could have been doing doughnuts for that matter.
...the grounds man is a motorcycle enthusiast is immaterial. He could also be a needlepoint enthusiast for all the relevance that has on the statement.
...Stuart Brown owns a Motorcycle is immaterial. A lot of people own motorcycles. His age, too, is immaterial.
...a club member had recently been expelled for bad behavior is immaterial. So what? Where's the relevance of this information to the statement at hand?
...the grounds man was the only one with access to the club when the club was closed is immaterial. Again, where's the relevance?
...a group of youths had an altercation with a member on Friday evening is immaterial. The altercation with a member could have taken place on the other side of town for all we'd care while examining this question.

The answer is B.
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      12-21-2008, 12:56 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beemerbird View Post
Blimey, it's like chinese whispers this lol.

I'll assume it's meant to be Bourne in Lincolnshire as it would fit the bowls theme.

Again, I maintain the answer is 'C' in the absence of any actual proof and evidence. No conviction could possibly be made based on any of the above. Supersition is of course a different matter.

The groundsman isn't going to cause himself any extra work by damaging the green pulling wheelies on his motorcycle, if indeed he owns a motorcycle and is not purely an enthusiast, and it certainly doesn't infer he has any axe to grind with his employer. Of course he has access to the club. Statement doesn't say whether the youths broke in or if the area was easily accessible. I'm assuming all this in the absence of any evidence to the contrary.

Stuart, again, we don't know how old he is, and the statement says motorcycles(s).

A club member recently expelled......hmm, unless he's a total muppet he wouldn't do anything like that drawing attention to himself. Check his alibi and access to a mototrcycle.

Most of us if honest, are going to be drawn to the youths having an altercation with a club member on the Friday evening then bugger me the green is damaged or rather the damage is discovered on the Saturday morning. Again, it simply states a 'group of youths'. Were they in possession of motorcycles at the time, how severe was the altercation, are they local youths easily identified or known trouble causers.

Of course 'A' is a possibility but 'may' is not unequivocal proof and should not be used imo, unless a witch hunt is the order of the day.
You're rationalizing this, Helen. Examine just the given facts against just the statement, Stuart Brown may have been one of the youths causing the damage." Don't read anything else into them beyond what they actually state.
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      12-21-2008, 12:57 PM   #56
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So... are we any brighter than those on PH....????

Answer A if the statement is true
Answer B if the statement is false
Answer C if it is impossible to tell if the statement if true or false.

It's obviously...... C

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      12-21-2008, 01:23 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoYank View Post
You're rationalizing this, Helen. Examine just the given facts against just the statement, Stuart Brown may have been one of the youths causing the damage." Don't read anything else into them beyond what they actually state.
I have examined just the given facts Floyd, hence my conclusion of 'C' being the answer. My rationalisation was to show how inconclusive the statement actually is based on the unsupported 'facts' presented. Rationalising is surely how we reach a conclusion based on the given facts and evidence.

Stuart Brown MAY be a youth, but it doesn't say he is in the statement. Stuart Brown could be the groundsman, the expelled club member, the club member who had an altercation with the youths or indeed one of the youths. Totally unclear and impossible to tell.

'A' and 'B' imo lead the reader to a conclusion which based on the information supplied can only be inconclusive, therefore 'C' can be the only correct answer as it is impossible to state categorically from the scant information provided.
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      12-21-2008, 01:42 PM   #58
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The statement to be examined is: "Stuart Brown may have been one of the youths causing the damage."

Where in the given facts does it state that the damage was definitely done by the youths as the statement says? When you can show me that fact, I will accept your answer C.
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      12-21-2008, 02:09 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoYank View Post
The statement to be examined is: "Stuart Brown may have been one of the youths causing the damage."

Where in the given facts does it state that the damage was definitely done by the youths as the statement says? When you can show me that fact, I will accept your answer C.
No where in the statement does it say that it was youths who caused the damage, nor does it state that it wasn't youths who caused the damage, therefore inconclusive and no assumption should be drawn.

Yes, Stuart Brown is a youth (but could still be a groundsman, member whatever) by the fact given in the statement, but that alone shouldn't be a presumption of guilt/innocence combined with the above, so again impossible to tell.

Based on the above it would be easy to say 'B' as the statement is false in it's basic form. The whole statement is so inherently flawed providing very little information and indeed facts that to commit to a definitive answer imo is difficult if not impossible.

I believe the statement about Stuart Brown is intentionally thrown in as a 'curve ball' to great effect.
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      12-21-2008, 02:47 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by - Paul - View Post
Why correlate Stuart with Stuart Brown though?
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      12-21-2008, 02:54 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beemerbird View Post
No where in the statement does it say that it was youths who caused the damage, nor does it state that it wasn't youths who caused the damage, therefore inconclusive and no assumption should be drawn.

Yes, Stuart Brown is a youth (but could still be a groundsman, member whatever) by the fact given in the statement, but that alone shouldn't be a presumption of guilt/innocence combined with the above, so again impossible to tell.

Based on the above it would be easy to say 'B' as the statement is false in it's basic form. The whole statement is so inherently flawed providing very little information and indeed facts that to commit to a definitive answer imo is difficult if not impossible.

I believe the statement about Stuart Brown is intentionally thrown in as a 'curve ball' to great effect.
Actually, the statement "Stuart Brown may have been one of the youths causing the damage." does say the youths caused the damage; the last four words. No evidence, however, supports this contention. If you think otherwise, please cite.

How can a statement be inherently flawed if it is the statement that is being examined for whether it is true or false? Answer the question about the statement itself. Don't read into it anything else. Given the known facts, is that statement, as worded, true or false?
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      12-21-2008, 03:09 PM   #62
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Although I have been an "answer C" proponent all along, if English is to mean anything, replace Stuart's name with your name. The point is, the statement is saying you might be responsible - so might the Pope, the Queen.

It's the same as saying I might have had intimate relationships with Beemerbird at Whitby!!

Until someone comes along to say yes or no, the statement might be true. (Sorry Helen)

If something is not a physical impossibility, then it may be true, pending further information.

If this exercise was a test in logic it has singularly failed, on the logic side, and in English comprehension as the statements can be argued in any way you please. We are all bringing in extraneous questions and logic to justify our selections, none of which are in the question. Whether Stuart is a youth or not, is a red herring.
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      12-21-2008, 03:17 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoYank View Post
Actually, the statement "Stuart Brown may have been one of the youths causing the damage." does say the youths caused the damage; the last four words. No evidence, however, supports this contention. If you think otherwise, please cite.

How can a statement be inherently flawed if it is the statement that is being examined for whether it is true or false? Answer the question about the statement itself. Don't read into it anything else. Given the known facts, is that statement, as worded, true or false?
It does say that yes, but no evidence to support so I dismissed it without further proof as 'an opinion' not a fact.

Now I see how you are thinking purely on whether the 'statement' is true or false, black or white. The statement "Stuart Brown may have been one of the youths causing the damage'" is false (B) taken in isolation, but when I read the pre-amble to the eventual statement I find I cannot say it is false (B) because the information preceding the statement causes inconclusion and for me all the 'facts' provided have to be taken into account, not just the statement in isolation. I 'read into' the whole text because the 'statement' on it's own would be clearly false.

Given the known facts ie. the whole text including the statement how do you conclude that the 'statement' is false?
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      12-21-2008, 03:26 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanQS View Post

(a) Although I have been an "answer C" proponent all along, if English is to mean anything, replace Stuart's name with your name. The point is, the statement is saying you might be responsible - so might the Pope, the Queen.

(b) It's the same as saying I might have had intimate relationships with Beemerbird at Whitby!!

(c) Until someone comes along to say yes or no, the statement might be true. (Sorry Helen)

(d) If something is not a physical impossibility, then it may be true, pending further information.

(e) If this exercise was a test in logic it has singularly failed, on the logic side, and in English comprehension as the statements can be argued in any way you please. We are all bringing in extraneous questions and logic to justify our selections, none of which are in the question. Whether Stuart is a youth or not, is a red herring.
(a) Valid point.

(b) Possibly yes.........you did catch up after all.

(c) We know the truth Alan.

(d) Indeed, you were certainly not drunk so ............

(e) Absolutely!!

(f).........Happy xmas Alan.
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      12-21-2008, 05:17 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beemerbird View Post
It does say that yes, but no evidence to support so I dismissed it without further proof as 'an opinion' not a fact.

Given the known facts ie. the whole text including the statement how do you conclude that the 'statement' is false?
The statement is just that, a statement. The exercise is to apply the known facts to that statement to determine whether it meets one of three options.

Given facts of the case:

1) On Saturday 14th June the grounds man for the Bourne bowls club discovered that the green had been damaged. In consequence, the afternoon bowls match had to be cancelled.
No mention of who or what group did the damage.
2) On Monday the police discovered the damage had been caused by motorcyclists performing "wheelies".
No mention of who or what age group the motorcyclists were.
3) The grounds man is a motorcycle enthusiast.
No mention of his age. No mention of his name. No mention of him causing damage.
4) Stuart Brown owns a Motorcycle.
No mention of his age. No mention of involvement. No mention of causing damage.
5) A club member had recently been expelled for bad behavior.
No mention of age. No mention of name. No mention of involvement. No mention of causing damage. No mention, even ,of what bad behavior caused the expulsion.
6) The grounds man was the only one with access to the club when the club was closed.
Again, no mention of age, no mention of name, no mention of involvement, no mention of causing damage.
7) A group of youths had an altercation with a member on Friday evening.
There were youths somewhere. No mention of involvement in the bowling green. No mention of the name of the member involved in the altercation. No mention of the altercation being anywhere near the bowling green. No mention of causing damage.

Consider the following statement:

"Stuart Brown may have been one of the youths causing the damage."

Which of the seven facts above supports that clause? None! The statement says youths caused the damage yet no fact supports that youths in any way were involved in damaging the bowling green. None! The statement cannot stand as a true statement.

The mention of Stuart Brown by name is immaterial. Stuart Brown could very well be a youth. My friend's 16 year old son, a youth, could be named instead and the statement would still be false because the facts don't support the contention that youths caused the damage.

Bottom line is, unless it can be shown that those responsible for the damage to the bowling green were young persons commonly called youths, the statement can not be true and if true is eliminated as a possibility the third option, impossible to tell, is also eliminated.
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      12-21-2008, 06:00 PM   #66
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Blimey, that got things going.

The formal 'correct answer' is still C. Personally I think this is much less ambiguous than the earlier misquoted version, but it's interesting that it separated Floyd and Helen, who both answered the earlier version perfectly.

We are asked to say if this is TRUE or FALSE

"Stuart Brown may have been one of the youths causing the damage."

The options are:

A - True - This would be the case IF the damage was caused by youths AND stuart can be a youth.

B - False - This would be the case IF the damage was not caused by youths OR stuart is not a youth.

C - Impossible to tell - Since we do not know if the damage was caused by youths and we do not know if stuart can be a youth, this is the only option.

The difference between this one and the original question is that the statement is absolutely false if the vandals were not youths.

In effect the statement is:

"The vandals were youths and Stuart Brown MAY be one of them"

In this version, the decision to choose A or C no longer hinges on the interpretation of the word MAY.

There is another question here if anyone is interested. This one is a doddle though:

http://www.policecouldyou.co.uk/officers/verbal.php
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