A Math Problem

Grumblenuts

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Interesting that 2 posters used the "1/n times as much" interpretation for Sue and Bob, but the literal interpretation for LaTasha.
Yeah, interesting how bullshit is presumed and yet wisdom (what works) wills its way out as we grow older.
 
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JoeMoma

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Usually when the phrase "n times less" is used, in which n is the number of times less, the intended interpretation is 1/n times as much.

Using this interpretation the calculations are as follows:

Sue: 1/4 x $100 = $25
Bob: 1/2 x $100 = $50
LaTasha: 1/1 x $100 = $100

The above interpretation does not make sense literally. How can LaTasha spend 1 time less than Tom and still spend exactly the same amount as Tom? Wouldn't $100 be zero times less than what Tom spent? But 1/0 is undefined! Note, several posters used the "1/n times" interpretation for "4 times less" and "2 times less" and used a completely different calculation for "1 time less".

A literal interpretation of "n times less" would mean the original amount minus n times the original amount. Interpreting "n times less" literally, the calculations are as follows:

Sue: $100 - 4 x $100 = - $300
Bob: $100 - 2 x $100 = - $100
LaTasha: $100 - 1 x $100 = $0

Interesting that 2 posters used the "1/n times as much" interpretation for Sue and Bob, but the literal interpretation for LaTasha.
I don't see the inconsistency and I didn't use fractions.
ls
"4 times less" is N x 0.25. "2 times less" is N x 0.5 and "1 time less", which is not a common phrase in English, I interpreted to mean "equal to" (100 = 100), so subtract 100 from 100, equals zero.
You didn't do the 3 calculations all the same way, thus inconsistent. 0.25 (twenty-five hundredths) equals 1/4. 0.5 ( five tenths) equals 1/2. So you did use fractions whether you realized it or not.
 

Pogo

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Usually when the phrase "n times less" is used, in which n is the number of times less, the intended interpretation is 1/n times as much.

Using this interpretation the calculations are as follows:

Sue: 1/4 x $100 = $25
Bob: 1/2 x $100 = $50
LaTasha: 1/1 x $100 = $100

The above interpretation does not make sense literally. How can LaTasha spend 1 time less than Tom and still spend exactly the same amount as Tom? Wouldn't $100 be zero times less than what Tom spent? But 1/0 is undefined! Note, several posters used the "1/n times" interpretation for "4 times less" and "2 times less" and used a completely different calculation for "1 time less".

A literal interpretation of "n times less" would mean the original amount minus n times the original amount. Interpreting "n times less" literally, the calculations are as follows:

Sue: $100 - 4 x $100 = - $300
Bob: $100 - 2 x $100 = - $100
LaTasha: $100 - 1 x $100 = $0

Interesting that 2 posters used the "1/n times as much" interpretation for Sue and Bob, but the literal interpretation for LaTasha.
I don't see the inconsistency and I didn't use fractions.
ls
"4 times less" is N x 0.25. "2 times less" is N x 0.5 and "1 time less", which is not a common phrase in English, I interpreted to mean "equal to" (100 = 100), so subtract 100 from 100, equals zero.
You didn't do the 3 calculations all the same way, thus inconsistent. 0.25 (twenty-five hundredths) equals 1/4. 0.5 ( five tenths) equals 1/2. So you did use fractions whether you realized it or not.
They can be converted to fractions but I never conceived them that way. My thinking is too linear for that.
 
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JoeMoma

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Interesting that 2 posters used the "1/n times as much" interpretation for Sue and Bob, but the literal interpretation for LaTasha.
Yeah, interesting how bullshit is presumed and yet wisdom (what works) wills its way out as we grow older.
Why do you have your panties in a wad? Perhaps that's why you are grumblenuts! I agree that the usual interpretation of n times less is 1/n times the amount.

Edit: Also note that I didn't declare anyone's answers right or wrong.
 
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Grumblenuts

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I agree that the usual interpretation of n times less is 1/n times the amount.
Hey, I have no problem with that!

And they're not in a wad. I bunch them a little just to wash them separately in a cloth bag. Those little socks especially. They like to get lost in some jacket sleeve not to be seen again for years I do declare!
 

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If one wants to find out what B will be if it n times lesser than A, then the one should divide A on n, that is A/n=B.

In this logic this math should be solved. You cant resolve part of it one way and the other part in another.
 
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JoeMoma

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If one wants to find out what B will be if it n times lesser than A, then the one should divide A on n, that is A/n=B.

In this logic this math should be solved. You cant resolve part of it one way and the other part in another.
When taken literally, n times less than A is not A/n. However, that is what people usually intend when they say n times lesser than A.
Zero times less than 100 is equal to 100 - 0 x 100 which is 100, not 100/0 which is undefined.
 

Grumblenuts

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The word "literally" literally doesn't mean what it used to. It's means virtually nothing anymore. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Used repeatedly? Even less. 0/n/0. Undefined.
"spent n times less than" now literally means "earned n-1 times more than Tom spent."
 
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JoeMoma

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The word "literally" literally doesn't mean what it used to. It's means virtually nothing anymore. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Used repeatedly? Even less. 0/n. Undefined.
"spent n times less than" now literally means "earned n times more than Tom spent."
Then what is zero times less than 100?
 

Grumblenuts

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It's a trick question so it doesn't make "literal" sense. Math is math. English is pig Latin.
 
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JoeMoma

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It's a trick question so it doesn't make "literal" sense. Math is math. English is pig Latin.
It doesn't make literal sense because the colloquial interpretation is flawed. But that's okay. I know I'm not going to change the world from using the colloquial interpretation. It is similar to understanding that when Mick Jagger sings "I ain't got no satisfaction" that he does not mean that he has satisfaction although logically the double negative should cancel out.
 

Grumblenuts

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Different. Not "flawed." Variety adds spice to the struggle that is life.
 

Grumblenuts

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Math can be viewed as flawless, metaphysical abstraction even though it's obviously as real as can be and what drives nature. English, however, is like nature appears on the surface. Messy. Thank goodness.
 

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