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  1. Newbie
    Interested in Language
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    #1

    Does 'no useful info' unequivocally mean 'some info is present?

    Does 'no useful info' unequivocally mean 'some info is present?

    Regarding an event between the interaction of two distant elements, an expert in this field states:

    "As far as anyone knows, there is no transmission of any useful information"

    We want to know 'definitively' whether any information was transmitted.

    Notes:
    We as the reader, have absolutely no interest in whether the information transmitted was useful.
    As a fact, we have already been informed that "there is no transmission of any useful information".

    We want to know 'definitively' whether any information was transmitted.

    As a native English speaker.... I would suggest that you could present this statement to 100 native English speakers, and all would respond: that 'information was transmitted only that it was not useful information'.

    However.... do the rules back up this natural reaction?

    My personal problem is that I understand my language implicitly.
    Living in France, I have a myriad of experiences with educated English speakers, who might work through grammatical rules to a conclusion.
    They ask me a rule based question, and I stop them... ask the context... and produce the answer.

    Only that this one is a real biggy!
    We need the rules.

    'I think', doesn't really count because the outcome is too important.

    The Nitty Gritty

    My current thinking is that the statement alone should provide sufficient information, to produce the answer.
    Let's break it down, and hope we have a grammatical expert that can align the sentence structure to the rules

    "As far as anyone knows"
    This we take as a fact (not an interpretation)!

    It's a clause, indicating current knowledge, that in time may change.
    Therefore, what follows can be accepted as factual, according to current accepted knowledge and understanding.

    "there is no transmission of any useful information"

    For pure grammar... we have no detailed context - the statement should be enough.
    However, for general comprehension, this implicitly must involve two geographic positions as the question revolves around transmitting information
    Eg. from A to B
    As it happens... B responds to an event occurring at A.

    In Effect
    Something happened at A... and this influenced a change at B.
    So the two sentence statement is:

    "You could say that there is an instantaneous influence, but no one can really say what the nature of that influence is. As far as anyone knows, there is no transmission of any useful information."

    So that's it chaps!
    You've got the context, the preamble, and the statement.
    Here again is the actual statement in question:

    "As far as anyone knows, there is no transmission of any useful information"

    You know my views:
    By stating the type of information that was not transmitted... we must concur that another type of (non-useful) information was transmitted.

    But am I right?
    Are there rules to determine the answer?
    (I have a feeling that the rules may rely on the opening clause that relates to 'useful'.... but I await an expert opinion).





  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Does 'no useful info' unequivocally mean 'some info is present?

    No useful information was transmitted. But was some information (that was not useful) transmitted? You can assume that something was transmitted, but you can't know it for certain. Why don't you simply ask the person who told you that if any information whatsoever was transmitted, useful or not?

  3. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Does 'no useful info' unequivocally mean 'some info is present?

    You need to get to the point a lot quicker.

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Does 'no useful info' unequivocally mean 'some info is present?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarcoUE View Post
    Regarding an event between the interaction of two distant elements,
    I gave up at that point.

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    #5

    Re: Does 'no useful info' unequivocally mean 'some info is present?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarcoUE View Post
    We want to know 'definitively' whether any information was transmitted.
    It is hard to be definitive about it, but I would assume that some information or, maybe, some unreadable rubbish was sent. If nothing had been sent, then I would be more likely to say that no information had been sent, but cannot totally exclude this possibility.

  5. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Does 'no useful info' unequivocally mean 'some info is present?

    What a confusing question!

    Yes, since the writer said "useful," we can assume that useless information was transmitted. And since your native language is English, you should understand that.

    I had trouble following the rest of your post. (There wasn't any useful information!)

    Please make it easier for us next time!
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  6. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Does 'no useful info' unequivocally mean 'some info is present?

    You can't say definitively that no information was sent at all.

    This is a case, though, that the phrase "the exception that proves the rule" was intended to cover.

    If the sign says "Closed Wednesdays and Sundays" the implication is that it is open is the other five days. By making an exception of Wednesday and Sundays, the "rule" of "open the other five days is implied.

    If you say "No useful information was transmitted" you have excepted "useful" and therefore imply that other information was transmitted.

    But it's an implication, not a fact.

    The place with the sign could be closed seven days a week, and the sign is still true.
    No information could be sent at all, and the statement is still true.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #8

    Re: Does 'no useful info' unequivocally mean 'some info is present?

    It could easily be 99.9%, but 100% is not possible for me.

  7. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Does 'no useful info' unequivocally mean 'some info is present?

    Hi, Barb and Tdol!

    You're right, of course. I just want Marco to understand that that the word "useful" would probably not be used if useless information wasn't also there.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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