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Quotational Quandary (Posted on 2004-02-16) Difficulty: 2 of 5
We use quotation marks for (among other things) mentioning words. In other words, we quote words in order to indicate that we are talking about the word, phase, or sentence occurring within the quotes, and not what what that word, phrase, or sentence refers to. Thus:

Red is a color and "Red" has three letters are true while Red has three letters and "Red" is a color are false.

With this in mind we can see that "Red" names red. is true while each of Red names red and "Red" names "Red" are false.

In addition, we can add multiple pairs of quotes to talk about a word, phrase, or sentence that itself contains quotes. For example ""Red"" takes five keystrokes to type and ""Red"" names "Red" are true.

With this in mind, what is the least number of pairs of quotation marks that need to be added to the following poem to make it true, non-redundant, and not nonsense?

According to W. Quine
Whose views on quotation are fine,
Boston names Boston
and Boston names Boston
But 9 doesn't designate 9.

[Note: "Designates" is understood to be synonymous with "names".]

See The Solution Submitted by RoyCook    
Rating: 2.5000 (4 votes)

Comments: ( Back to comment list | You must be logged in to post comments.)
Some Thoughts ideas | Comment 2 of 20 |
Hey :) I just woke up and saw this puzzle as I was checking my email. No idea if I'm right because my brain isn't functioning yet :P Here's one idea (the most sensible one I've got).

According to W. Quine
Whose views on quotation are fine,
"'Boston' names Boston
and '"Boston"' names 'Boston'
But 9 doesn't designate '9'."

I make it 6 pairs, but it could be five if the last three lines aren't grouped in quotations, but personally I prefer it this way, to make them a quote from W. Quine....

Now, tell me I'm wrong :P

Peace,
Rawlyn.
  Posted by Rawlyn on 2004-02-16 10:09:13
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