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# Pears

123 replies to this topic

### #11 larryhl

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 01:45 PM

You guys are making this too complicated. The riddle lies in realizing that there were 2 PEARS in the tree before the storm. After the storm, there were no longer PEARS in the tree because there were 2 PEARS before, and now there is 1 PEAR in the tree. There also aren't PEARS on the ground because there is only 1 PEAR on the ground. Nothing is lost in translation, and there is no difference in typing or speaking this riddle. PEARS =/= PEAR. And foley, I realize this is what you were arguing against, but there are many riddles set up like this, where slight differences in words will give you the correct answer, even if it is a slight grammar thing.
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### #12 Garrek99

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 02:25 AM

You guys are making this too complicated. The riddle lies in realizing that there were 2 PEARS in the tree before the storm. After the storm, there were no longer PEARS in the tree because there were 2 PEARS before, and now there is 1 PEAR in the tree. There also aren't PEARS on the ground because there is only 1 PEAR on the ground. Nothing is lost in translation, and there is no difference in typing or speaking this riddle. PEARS =/= PEAR. And foley, I realize this is what you were arguing against, but there are many riddles set up like this, where slight differences in words will give you the correct answer, even if it is a slight grammar thing.

Wait a second bro, if I were to tell you that there are no water hoses in the garden right now wouldn't you assume that neither 1 nor 2 hoses are present?
Cause you should and that's how the language is structered and everyone who uses it agrees to use it like that. If you say that there are no people in the room we all agreed that that means that the room has no humans in it.
That's what I think anyway, later.
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### #13 larryhl

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 02:30 PM

Right, that is a perfectly valid point when taken in the context of everyday life. BUT THIS IS A RIDDLE! There's a reason riddles are hard. And the reason this one is hard is because it plays on our everyday understanding that "no pears" = "0 pears".
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### #14 schmiggen

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 10:01 PM

larry: Riddles are supposed to be difficult, yes. Sometimes they play on preconceptions and habits, but they don't mislead (not valid riddles, anyhow; unintentional misleading can be forgiven and simply corrected). Since the misleading here is based on the actual meaning of words being used incorrectly, this cannot be said to be a valid riddle as it is. "No pears" meaning "zero pairs" is the direct implication of the language, not just an everyday or common interpretation of the phrase. "No pears" is not to be confused with "Not pears," which could possibly be construed to only exclude the plural of pears.

Language is only used for communicating a riddle. A riddle based on incorrect use of language cannot be described as having a distinct answer, because incorrect use of language doesn't actually have a distinct meaning.

This riddle, I think, is supposed to be conveyed through spoken language. The problem with the spoken language is that some words may have multiple meanings. There are two options when the meaning of a word as it is used is unclear: look at the context, or ask the originator for the meaning. The basis of this riddle (in spoken language, anyhow) is that the context doesn't provide the needed clues, and people may falsely pick a meaning -- possibly the one they are most familiar with or that they encounter most often.

This isn't a bad riddle, per se, but it IS a bad riddle to be put forth through text, because if it is written correctly it is too easy and if it is written incorrectly it must be solved with a roundabout answer like "they fell into a basket," "someone was standing there and caught them," or "some other arbitrary event which easily handles the situation but feels like cheating."
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### #15 brainytrafficlight

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 07:32 AM

The Pears could have smashed into a wall and made marmalade. So there would be marmalade on the wall, and no pears on the ground or tree.

OR

They could have been blown into a neighboring tree.
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### #16 sphinxteroonicat

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 09:56 AM

While I have no real arboreal knowledge of pear trees, my neighbour has a plum tree with a branch growing over the fence. I often, particularly after a storm, end up with plums on my driveway (not that I mind if you're reading this Lorraine). Perhaps a similar scenario happened with the pear tree 'in a garden' mentioned in the riddle.

The pear/pears/pair/pairs argument sounds more like the heated discussions I have with my other neighbour over my friends parking their crappy old cars in front of his house. But thats a different story
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### #17 chebden

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 06:31 PM

Isn't the riddle supposed to go.

Riddle:
There is a pear tree and after a storm with strong winds there were neither pears in the tree nor on the ground?

Pears were not in season and hence there were no actual pears on the tree at the time of the storm.
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### #18 Cister

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 10:43 PM

There could be a net around the tree, such as is used to collect a harvest without allowing fruit to rot on the ground.
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### #19 seubs05

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 04:31 AM

You guys are making this too complicated. The riddle lies in realizing that there were 2 PEARS in the tree before the storm. After the storm, there were no longer PEARS in the tree because there were 2 PEARS before, and now there is 1 PEAR in the tree. There also aren't PEARS on the ground because there is only 1 PEAR on the ground. Nothing is lost in translation, and there is no difference in typing or speaking this riddle. PEARS =/= PEAR. And foley, I realize this is what you were arguing against, but there are many riddles set up like this, where slight differences in words will give you the correct answer, even if it is a slight grammar thing.

larryhl is right, this riddle actually makes perfect sense exactly as it is. Saying there were "pears" in the tree before the wind came along implies that there were at least two (which we find out in the solution that there were just that many). If, after the wind, there was one in the tree and one on the ground then it is correct to assume that there weren't "pears" (more than one) on the ground or on the tree, because there was only a PEAR in each place. The whole point of a riddle is to use language in a complicated/tricky way so as to confuse the mind of the person attempting to solve said riddle. It doesn't mean that the use of the language is incorrect.

Also, the riddle doesn't say "there were NO pears" as many of you keep quoting in your arguments; it says, "there were NEITHER pears on the tree NOR on the ground" which means that both of those places had less than two pears. If people insist on getting bent out of shape about the use of language, let's forget about the pear vs. pears and look at the last line of the riddle: "How come?" Now, you want to talk about a grammar faux pas? It should read, "Why not?"
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### #20 Garrek99

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Posted 09 July 2007 - 12:35 AM

You guys are making this too complicated. The riddle lies in realizing that there were 2 PEARS in the tree before the storm. After the storm, there were no longer PEARS in the tree because there were 2 PEARS before, and now there is 1 PEAR in the tree. There also aren't PEARS on the ground because there is only 1 PEAR on the ground. Nothing is lost in translation, and there is no difference in typing or speaking this riddle. PEARS =/= PEAR. And foley, I realize this is what you were arguing against, but there are many riddles set up like this, where slight differences in words will give you the correct answer, even if it is a slight grammar thing.

larryhl is right, this riddle actually makes perfect sense exactly as it is. Saying there were "pears" in the tree before the wind came along implies that there were at least two (which we find out in the solution that there were just that many). If, after the wind, there was one in the tree and one on the ground then it is correct to assume that there weren't "pears" (more than one) on the ground or on the tree, because there was only a PEAR in each place. The whole point of a riddle is to use language in a complicated/tricky way so as to confuse the mind of the person attempting to solve said riddle. It doesn't mean that the use of the language is incorrect.

Also, the riddle doesn't say "there were NO pears" as many of you keep quoting in your arguments; it says, "there were NEITHER pears on the tree NOR on the ground" which means that both of those places had less than two pears. If people insist on getting bent out of shape about the use of language, let's forget about the pear vs. pears and look at the last line of the riddle: "How come?" Now, you want to talk about a grammar faux pas? It should read, "Why not?"

This argument with the "there were NEITHER pears on the tree NOR on the ground" may be the key to the whole thing. Good eye dude/dudette. As stated "neither pears..." may definitively combine the plural of pears into one item and make it into a singular item that consists of at least 2 things and therefore a single pear could go under that radar and not register as "neither pears...".
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