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  1. #1
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    This is wrong, surely?

    "Seven trucks are needed to carry the same amount of paper bags that fit in one truckload of plastic bags"

    This comes from a site on the benefits of plastics. www.americanplasticscouncil.org

    (Go to the quiz and it's the second question)

    It's saying that seven trucks are needed to carry paper bags which are the same amount as something, which can fit in a truckload with the plastic bags.
    Last edited by Passionwagon; 23-Sep-2006 at 02:01.

  2. #2
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Re: This is wrong, surely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Passionwagon View Post
    "Seven trucks are needed to carry the same amount of paper bags that fit in one truckload of plastic bags"
    This comes from a site on the benefits of plastics. www.americanplasticscouncil.org
    (Go to the quiz and it's the second question)
    It's saying that seven trucks are needed to carry paper bags which are the same amount as something, which can fit in a truckload with the plastic bags.
    It might not be the most felicitous of sentences, PW, but it's understandable.

  3. #3
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    Re: This is wrong, surely?

    Thanks River Kid!

    Itr's true that it is understandable, but only in context. Taken out of context, it actually means that seven trucks are needed to carry the same amount of paper bags in a truck - which makes no sense, seen as how there has been no change in vehicle, so you do not need 6 more trucks to do what one truck has done perfectly well on its own. You could understand if it said "car". Shouldn't the part that says "that fit in" be replaced with "for"?

  4. #4
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Re: This is wrong, surely?

    The phrasing is awkward. It would've been clearer if they'd said something like "it would take seven trucks to haul 10,000 paper bags, while the same amount of plastic bags easily fits into one truck." Or something like that.

    And ever since I saw Airplane!, every time someone uses "surely" in a sentence, I can't help but reply, "...and don't call me 'Shirley'"!"

  5. #5
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    Re: This is wrong, surely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    The phrasing is awkward. It would've been clearer if they'd said something like "it would take seven trucks to haul 10,000 paper bags, while the same amount of plastic bags easily fits into one truck." Or something like that.
    And ever since I saw Airplane!, every time someone uses "surely" in a sentence, I can't help but reply, "...and don't call me 'Shirley'"!"

    Is that the film where the young girl says she likes her coffee black, the way she likes her men?

  6. #6
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Re: This is wrong, surely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Passionwagon View Post
    It's saying that seven trucks are needed to carry paper bags which are the same amount as something, which can fit in a truckload with the plastic bags.
    I can see what you mean, PW. It's comprehensible, as Riverkid says; but it does have a "things flying out of the food-mixer" effect.

    Maybe: "paper bags take up seven times as much space as plastic bags".

    But then we lose the trucks. And question-setters do like trucks.

    MrP

  7. #7
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Re: This is wrong, surely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Passionwagon View Post
    Is that the film where the young girl says she likes her coffee black, the way she likes her men?
    Yep, that's the film!

  8. #8
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Re: This is wrong, surely?

    The sentence would have been much more clear if it had said, "...the same number of paper bags..."

    Roger, over

    Huh?

  9. #9
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: This is wrong, surely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Passionwagon View Post
    Is that the film where the young girl says she likes her coffee black, the way she likes her men?
    This is a telegraphed version of a rather older exchange:

    Waiter: How does Madam take her coffee?
    Lady of a certain age: I like my coffee like I like my men - hot and strong.
    Waiter: Very good, Madam. Black or white?

    This (or something like it) pre-dates Airplane by several decades.

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 24-Sep-2006 at 11:45. Reason: Tweak format

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