Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22
  1. White Rabbit
    Guest
    #1

    Why is 'yes' the answer?

    When asked a question with a choice, 'is it legal or illegal?', someone for some reason answered 'yes'.

    Somebody else commented that you cannot answer a choice with 'yes', but that someone wrote 'More formally, the answer is "Yes, it is either legal or illegal, and you didn't ask which."'

    I thought 'or' was used to give an alternative, so how can 'yes' be the answer to a choice you're given?

    By the way, the question can be re-worded any way you like: 'are roses red or green?', 'should we go out or stay in?', etc.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #2

    Re: Why is 'yes' the answer?

    Not enough context, but it looks as though the person thought that the reply was humorous.


    • Join Date: Jun 2007
    • Posts: 7
    #3

    Re: Why is 'yes' the answer?

    It was on a forum thread about game graphics. We were discussing the usage of one game's graphics for another game's, and someone asked whether it was legal or not. His question was 'So is OpenTTD actually legal...' The answer he got was 'The correct question is "Is OpenTTD legal or illegal?" and the correct answer is "Yes."'


    Someone else commented 'I think you mean legal, not Yes', but he got replied 'No, I mean "Yes." If I'd meant "Legal" I would have said "Legal". More formally, the answer is "Yes, it is either legal or illegal, and you didn't ask which."'


    Does this clear up the context?
    Last edited by White Rabbit; 06-Jun-2007 at 09:52.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #4

    Re: Why is 'yes' the answer?

    It does, and it also indicates that the person thinks that he is being funny [and over-pedantic]. The original question 'So is OpenTTD actually legal...' is quite reasonable and straighforward.

  2. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #5

    Re: Why is 'yes' the answer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Not enough context, but it looks as though the person thought that the reply was humorous.
    The 'humour' is in the observation that the answer 'yes' means 'Indeed it is accurate to say that OpenTDD has a Boolean value (1 or 0)'.

    b

  3. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #6

    Re: Why is 'yes' the answer?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    The 'humour' is in the observation that the answer 'yes' means 'Indeed it is accurate to say that OpenTDD has a Boolean value (1 or 0)'.

    b
    So, the word legal is ambiguous? It also means Bolean value (1 or 0)?

  4. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #7

    Re: Why is 'yes' the answer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    So, the word legal is ambiguous? It also means Bolean value (1 or 0)?
    No, but to a programmer the distinction legal/illegal would be realized as a Boolean variable; it's either True or False. By convention, 1 stands for True and 0 stands for False. The answer "Yes"
    to the question 'Is X one thing or another?' means 'Yes, it is one thing or another. [It's Boolean]'

    b


    • Join Date: Jun 2007
    • Posts: 7
    #8

    Re: Why is 'yes' the answer?

    This clears a lot up. That person really is a programmer, and he always tries to make sure that everyone asks so-called 'smart questions'.

  5. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #9

    Re: Why is 'yes' the answer?

    Genius idea.

  6. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #10

    Re: Why is 'yes' the answer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    Genius idea.
    Aw shucks. I've just spent a few years dealing with people like that.

    b

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Confused between Don't and doesn't
    By MariaElena Shetler in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 15-Mar-2007, 23:36
  2. Kindly answer the questions.
    By asad hussain in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 29-Jan-2007, 00:49
  3. Question about answer, reply,take care ...
    By JJD in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 25-Aug-2006, 03:24
  4. Why is the answer this?
    By Unregistered Lina in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-Dec-2005, 05:43

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •