Introduction to Grammar Guidelines

With texting, Facebook, and Twitter fast becoming main modes of communication, the new shorthand lingo that is developing will no doubt bring about a higher frequency of grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. The rules that define proper English seem to fade into the distance as more people forget them and replace that knowledge with acronyms such as OMG and LOL. The hope for this site is to reinforce proper English grammar and continue to encourage eloquent writing and speech.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What is an Inference?

An inference is a conclusion that one makes after being presented with a set of data. This type of exercise requires reading comprehension and memory. Practicing with inferences can improve your ability to understand and retain what you read as well as your ability to think critically.

An inference, in its simplest form:

All books are made of paper.
All paper is made from trees.
Therefore, all books are made from trees.
Inferences which include false premises can also lead to false conclusions. For example:

All geniuses are from Ireland.
Bobby Fischer is a genius.
Therefore, Bobby Fischer is from Ireland. (false conclusion based on false premises)

Try out this inference exercise for yourself:

Every afternoon we either roller-blade, hike, or work out at the gym. We only choose one activity per day. The activity that we choose is completely dependent upon weather and daylight.

We roller-blade or hike if the temperature is 45 degrees or above. If it is raining or snowing, we do not roller-blade or hike. We do not roller-blade if wind gusts are more than 15 mph.

If the sun sets before 4:30pm, we choose to work out at the gym. If it is foggy, we do not roller-blade due to visibility concerns.


1. It is 6:30pm and sunset is scheduled for 8pm. It is sunny, 85 degrees, and there are wind gusts of 25 mph. What activity will we choose for this afternoon?

2. We have chosen to roller-blade today. What are the weather and daylight conditions if this is our choice?

(For answers, see the section titled Answers to Questions below)

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