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Illogical Predication – The G-Matic Mismatching

The problem of illogical predication or faulty predication is resulted when the subject and predicate in any sentence do not logically match with each other. This is a very important testing point in G-matic sentence correction these days.

Study the following sentences to understand how this ‘mismatching’ occurs

* The population living around the industrial area provides office space for new businesses.

The predication is illogical because population cannot provide office space. It provides manpower rather than office space.

Study how the error is corrected by creating logical subjects/predicates for the sentence.

* The population living around the industrial area provides workforce for new businesses.

* The industrial area, around which workforce is living, provides office space for new businesses.

Let us look at one more example.

* The problem of inevitable excessive governmental regulations on private business in developing countries is that we should find some innovative ways to make businesses improve competitiveness.

Is ‘finding some innovative ways to make businesses improve competitiveness’ a ‘problem’? The simple subject ‘problem’ is illogically connected to this idea. The following is the corrected version of the above sentence.

* The solution for the inevitable excessive governmental restrictions on private business in developing countries is that we should find some innovative ways to make businesses improve competitiveness.


Reasons for Faulty Predication

Illogical or faulty predication results from certain factors. We should discuss the most commonly found reasons for the illogical predication along with the possible correcting measures.

  1. Intervening word group that ‘obscures’ the relation between the subject and predicate is the main reason for the problem of illogical predication in G-matic sentences.
    The earlier section on G-matic trap will give you comprehensive idea about different elements that cause confusion this way.
    Study the following example.

* Decision about the disposal of radioactive waste has delayed the construction of new nuclear power plants. (Illogical predication.)

Explanation: The subject of the above sentence decision … waste cannot delay the construction of new nuclear power plants. This is the error of illogical predication. See how the use of appropriate subject corrects the error of illogical predication.

* The lack of decision about the disposal of radioactive waste has delayed the construction of new nuclear power plants. (Logical predication)

* The Government’s failure in taking a decision about the disposal of radioactive waste has delayed the construction of nuclear power plants. (Logical predication)
 

Example
Women who participate at a low rate at the highest levels of politics are an enduring problem in gender stratification.
A. Women who participate at a low rate at the highest levels of politics are
B. The highest levels of politics at which women participate at a low rate are
C. The participation of women which is at a low rate at the highest levels of politics is
D. Women’s low rate of participation at the highest levels of politics is
E. Women’s low rate of participation and the highest levels of politics are
Solution
Explanation: the subject of the sentence (women) is not the logical subject for the predicate which is not underlined. So  the sentence is with the problem of illogical predication.
 
Option A: the option is with the problem of illogical predication.
Option B: the subject (the highest levels of politics) also creates the predication problem.
Option C: the participation of women is not the enduring problem. Thus, this option also results in faulty predication error.
Option D: correct. This option uses low rate of participation as the subject which is the logical subject for the predicate.
Option E: the addition of another noun phrase (the highest levels of politics) to the actual subject makes this option illogical.
  1. ‘Faulty equations’ or ‘misuse of linking verbs’ or be forms, creates the illogical predication problem. The subject and complement on either side of ‘be’ form must be correctly equated. The forms connected must be comparable or logical. Otherwise, the problem of illogical predication is resulted.
    Study the following example.

* The thesis of the paper is the difficulty of solving our environmental problems. (Illogical predication.)

In the above sentence, the subject ‘thesis’ is equated to ‘difficulty’. This is illogical. The logical con-struction for the above is likely to be the following sentence in which subject and predicate are correctly matched.

* The thesis of the paper is that it is difficult to solve our environmental problems. (Logical predication.)
 

Example
The ever-increasing popularity of African-American literature is a vital branch of literature of African Diaspora, which is usually defined as the movement of Africans and their descendants to places throughout the world.
A. The ever-increasing popularity of African-American literature is a vital branch of literature of African Diaspora,
B. The ever-increasing popularity of African-American literature is a vital branch of African Diasporic literature,
C. The popularity of African-American literature, which has been ever-increasing, is a vital branch of literature of African Diaspora,
D. African-American literature, with its ever-increasing popularity, is a vital branch of African Diasporic literature,
E. African-American literature, because of its ever-increasing popularity, is a vital branch of literature of African Diaspora,
Solution
Explanation: the simple subject of the sentence is popularity, which is complemented with a vital branch of literature, giving a sense that the popularity is a vital branch of literature of African Diaspora. This results in illogical predication. Thus, the given sentence is incorrect.
Option A: the given sentence is with illogical predication problem.
Option B: besides the original error, it introduces another illogical predication error. The relative pronoun which is present after literature giving the sense that literature is usually defined as the movement of Africans. This is also illogical predication error.
Option C: besides retaining the original problem it introduces another problem of wordiness by using the relative clause which has been ever-increasing.
Option D: the first predication problem is corrected by using the logical noun African-American literature, but the second predication problem still persists.
Option E: correct. Both the problems of illogical predication have been corrected.
  1. Non-standard structures that are used in sentences may result in illogical predication. Such structures include ‘the reason…because, be form… when or where’.

Study the following examples with illogical predication of this kind and understand how the correction is made.

* The reason the governments increase taxes is because of many of special interest projects that need to be funded. (Illogical predication)

*The reason the governments increase taxes is that many of special interest projects need to be funded. (Logical predication)

*The pressure to fund many special interest projects forces the governments to increase the taxes. (Logical predication)

Explanation: Of the two suggested corrections above, the second one is better as it expresses the point more clearly and more precisely than the first correction does.

* Depression is when a person has a mood of hopelessness. (Illogical predication)

*Depression is a state in which a person has a mood of hopelessness. (Logical predication)
 

Example
Taxidermy is where one constructs a lifelike representation of an animal using its preserved skin.
A. where one constructs a lifelike representation of an animal using
B. a process in which a lifelike representation of an animal is constructed and uses
C. a lifelike representation of an animal constructed in a process using
D. an animal whose lifelike representation is constructed in a process that uses
E. a process in which a lifelike representation of an animal is constructed using
Solution
Explanation: the construction taxidermy is where… is illogical as taxidermy is not a place, but a process. Thus, the sentence is with illogical predication.
Option A: the option is with illogical predication.
Option B: the option correctly uses the logical noun process as the subject. However, at the end of the underlined part, the use of and uses creates a different instance of illogical predication; because of structure, the sentence means that taxidermy uses its preserved skin.
Option C: the use of noun phrase a lifelike representation results in illogical predication.
Option D: the use of noun animal cannot logically be equated to the subject taxidermy.
Option E: correct. This option solves the problem of illogical predication and uses all modifiers correctly, giving logical sense in all respects.
 

 

Illogical predication
Correct the following sentences by removing the illogical predication error.

  1. A recession is when there is a decline in gross domestic product (GDP) for two or more successive quarters of a year.
  2. The fact that there is abundant work force available makes this place most suitable for the construction of our factory.
  3. The value of competition in business is almost invaluable.
  4. Electronic publishing has currently achieved different academic disciplines in varying degrees of success.
  5. The generally accepted chronology of Chinese history begins with Western Zhou Dynasty which was on the decline during ninth century BC.
  6. The utility of mathematics is pervasive and is used in every academic discipline man has invented.
  7. According to psychologists, the ages between fifteen and twenty face many instances of conflict with older generations.
  8. The construction of residential quarters near the production units will establish a specific population of skilled workers near the production facilities and will save money for the businesses.
  9. The preliminary results of recent archaeological investigations into stone axe production at a Neolithic site of South India comprises stone-lined circular structure used for the purpose.

 Keys
Please note that the following are suggested responses. Sometimes, the sentences can be corrected in other ways also.

  1. A recession is a decline in gross domestic product for two or more successive quarters of a year.
  2. The abundant workforce available here makes this place most suitable for the construction of our factory. The availability of abundant workforce makes this place most suitable for the construction of our factory.
  3. Competition in business is almost invaluable or the value of competition in business cannot be estimated.
  4. Electronic publishing has currently achieved varying degrees of success in different academic disciplines.
  5. The generally accepted chronology of Chinese history begins in ninth century BC during which Western Zhou Dynasty was on the decline.
  6. The utility of mathematics is pervasive and mathematics is used in every academic discipline man has invented.
    Because of the structure of the sentence, the sentence comes to mean that ‘the utility of mathematics is used in every academic discipline man has invented.’ This is illogical predication. It is the ‘mathematics’, not the ‘utility’ that is used in academic disciplines.
  7. According to psychologists, people of ages between fifteen and twenty face many instances of conflict with older generations.
  8. The construction of residential quarters near the production units will establish a specific population of skilled workers near the production facilities and this concentration of workers will save money for the businesses.
    Construction cannot save money. But the concentration of workers near the work place can.
  9. The preliminary results of recent archaeological investigations into stone axe production at a Neolithic site of South India indicate that the site comprises stone-lined circular structure used for the purpose.

The preliminary results cannot comprise stone-lined circular structure. Thus, the sentence is with illogical predication. This problem is removed in the corrected sentence.

 





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