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    #1

    not fifty percent

    Can one say

    a. Fifty percent of homeless men have suffered brain damage. Not fifty percent of the male population at large have suffered brain damage.
    b. Fifty percent of homeless men have suffered brain damage. But not fifty percent of the male population at large have suffered brain damage.

    c. Fifty percent of homeless men have suffered brain damage. Not fifty percent of men at large, but only X percent, have suffered brain damage.
    d. Fifty percent of homeless men have suffered brain damage. But not fifty percent of men at large, but only X percent, have suffered brain damage.

    ?


    The fifty percent figure seems more or less correct. I could not find the percentage of men who had brain damage in the general public and used X instead of a figure.

    (a) and (b) sound incorrect to me.

    I would say one could use the 'structure' in (a) and (b) when one wants to emphasis the fact that a figure is small.
    e. 'Not two percent of the population know that Einstein published his article on special relativity in 1905.'

    (e) seems fine to me since it emphasizes the fact that very few people 'know that'.

    Am I correct?

    Many thanks.

  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: not fifty percent

    Quote Originally Posted by azz View Post
    Can one say

    a. Fifty percent of homeless men have suffered brain damage. Less than fifty percent of the male population at large have suffered brain damage.
    b. Fifty percent of homeless men have suffered brain damage. But less than fifty percent of the male population at large have suffered brain damage.

    c. Fifty percent of homeless men have suffered brain damage. Only X percent [no comma] have suffered brain damage.
    d. Fifty percent of homeless men have suffered brain damage, but only X percent [no comma]have suffered brain damage.?

    The fifty percent figure seems more or less correct. I could not find the percentage of men who had brain damage in the general public and used X instead of a figure.

    (a) and (b) sound incorrect to me.

    I would say one could use the 'structure' in (a) and (b) when one wants to emphasis the fact that a figure is small.
    e. 'Not even two percent of the population know that Einstein published his article on special relativity in 1905.'

    (e) seems fine to me since it emphasizes the fact that very few people 'know that'.

    Am I correct? See the corrections.

    Many thanks.
    You're welcome!
    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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    #3

    Re: not fifty percent

    I think you mean "mental illness" where you've written brain damage.​ The latter term means physical damage to the brain, something which is unlikely to have happened to fully half of the population of homeless men.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #4

    Re: not fifty percent

    Thank you both so much!

    I heard something like that and I thought the same thing as you GoesStation, but then I verified and found, to my surprise, that nearly half of homeless men have indeed sustained brain injury.

    The article does say 'almost half', so it is not a 'full' half of the male homeless population that has suffered brain damage, but it does come close to that.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/0...n_5227637.html

    I suppose a vast majority of them suffer from some type of mental illness or addiction (which could be considered a mental illness). That is my guess. I might be wrong.

    Many thanks.

  2. Roman55's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: not fifty percent

    All of the sentences (except (e) which doesn't exist) are misleading.

    The article you link to says that the men in question sustained brain trauma before becoming homeless and suggests a correlation between that and their current state of homelessness. That isn't obvious from the sentences.
    I am not a teacher

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