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Can someone explain this riddle? #184410
04/21/09 02:44 AM
04/21/09 02:44 AM
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latishya Offline OP
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I just read a riddle and I am not ablre to understand its answer.
Quote:

Q. How many letters are there in the correct answer to this question?

A. Four. - Explanation: Four is the only number with the same amount of letters as the word it is from.


Can someone explain how the answer can be deduced?

Re: Can someone explain this riddle? [Re: latishya] #184413
04/21/09 02:59 AM
04/21/09 02:59 AM
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tsuwm Offline
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very poorly worded; four is the only number, expressed as an English word, with the same number of letters as its value.
-joe (four has four (count 'em) letters) friday

Re: Can someone explain this riddle? [Re: tsuwm] #184414
04/21/09 03:04 AM
04/21/09 03:04 AM
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latishya Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: tsuwm
very poorly worded; four is the only number, expressed as an English word, with the same number of letters as its value.
-joe (four has four (count 'em) letters) friday


Thank you but it must be beyond my English. I still can not see how that answer is suggested by the question. I searched on google and the same phrasing is used repeadtedly except sometimes the word puzzle is used instead of question.

Re: Can someone explain this riddle? [Re: latishya] #184416
04/21/09 03:56 AM
04/21/09 03:56 AM
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Zed Offline
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You have to figure out an answer that tells you how many letters are in the answer.
7 wouldn't work because the answer (seven) has 5 letters. The number of letters does not agree with the word.
5 has 4 letters (five) so it doesn't work.

The only number in which the word (the answer) tells you how many letters it has is four.

PS I can figure it out in reverse I would never have gotten it on my own.

Re: Can someone explain this riddle? [Re: Zed] #184417
04/21/09 06:58 AM
04/21/09 06:58 AM
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Netherlands, the Hague
BranShea Offline
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You mean like octobass? link

Re: Can someone explain this riddle? [Re: latishya] #184421
04/21/09 10:50 AM
04/21/09 10:50 AM
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Faldage Offline
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Originally Posted By: latishya
I still can not see how that answer is suggested by the question.


The classic riddle would often be obscurely, if not misleadingly, worded.

Re: Can someone explain this riddle? [Re: latishya] #184452
04/23/09 04:37 AM
04/23/09 04:37 AM
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doc_comfort Offline
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Q. How many letters are there in the correct answer to this question?

A. 0

A. There are twenty-five letters.

A. One possible answer to this question is that there are fifty.

Re: Can someone explain this riddle? [Re: doc_comfort] #184453
04/23/09 06:05 AM
04/23/09 06:05 AM
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tsuwm Offline
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Q. How many letters are there in the correct answer to this question?

A. Four.


this is a self-referential construct, as are doc_comfort's examples.

Q. How many consonants are in the correct answer to this question?
A. one
or,
A. two
or,
A. three

this is a variation, of sorts, on the "this sentence" theme:
1. This sentence contains five words.
2. This sentence no verb.
3. This sentence is false.

-joe (autological) friday



Re: Can someone explain this riddle? [Re: tsuwm] #184456
04/23/09 11:16 AM
04/23/09 11:16 AM
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Faldage Offline
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Originally Posted By: tsuwm

Q. How many consonants are in the correct answer to this question?
A. one
or,
A. two
or,
A. three



You'll want to be careful with this one. You might face the wrath of Geoff Pullum. He'll come down on you with both feet and a prepositional bush. Linguistically one has two consonants, two has one and three has two.

Re: Can someone explain this riddle? [Re: Faldage] #184466
04/24/09 05:30 AM
04/24/09 05:30 AM
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tsuwm Offline
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Originally Posted By: Faldage
You might face the wrath of Geoff Pullum. He'll come down on you with both feet and a prepositional bush.


But it seems to me that, protests of the academic linguistic world notwithstanding, most people in normal spoken or written English are pretty comfortable using the word "consonant" to refer directly to written letters of the alphabet.
-Craig Russell (from your link)

1. An alphabetic or phonetic element other than a vowel; an elementary sound of speech which in the formation of a syllable is combined with a vowel. Applied both to the sounds and to the letters (the latter being the historically prior use).
[OED2]

-joe (bring it on, Geoff) friday

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