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Same Meaning?

Same Meaning?

Same Meaning?

(OP)
Do the following two sentences convey the same meaning?

Quote:

Only one freight rail company serves 78 percent of railroad stations within the United States.

Quote:

Seventy-eight percent of railroad stations within the USA are served by only one freight rail company.

Thoughts?

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RE: Same Meaning?

No

Aspiring to mediocrity since 1957

RE: Same Meaning?

I think both quotes could be interpreted differently. Personally I would interpret each quote in the following way.

Quote 1) That one freight rail company called ABC serves 78%
Quote 2) That only one freight rail company at a time (may be many different freight rail companies though) serves 78%
i.e. ABC may serve 50% that no one else does & XYZ might serve the other 28% that no one else does.

That's just my interpretation though, which could be different from another person's perspective.

RE: Same Meaning?

They're different.
1.) "Only one freight rail company serves 78 percent of railroad stations within the United States."
=> There is one freight rail company with which you can serve 78% of US railroad stations, while the other companies serve less. These railroad stations are maybe also served by other companies but the only company serving ALL of these 78% is company XYZ.

2.) "Seventy-eight percent of railroad stations within the USA are served by only one freight rail company."
78% of railroad stations cannot be served with any other company than with XYZ. No other company will serve these.

“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” (Kofi Annan)
Oppose SOPA, PIPA, ACTA; measures to curb freedom of information under whatever name whatsoever.

RE: Same Meaning?

CC is an "teacher of habit" -- he is always looking for ways to raise our collective and individual levels of literacy. I believe that this example qualifies as one of his "teaching moments".

The rule with the use of the word, "only", is that "only" applies to the word following "only" in the sentence. The "only" exception is if "only" appears as the last word in the sentence, then "only" applies to the penultimate word in the sentence.

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
“People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

RE: Same Meaning?

Not even close
1st is not exclusive of other companies
2nd describes a monopoly

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: Same Meaning?

Quote (kwb)

Not even close...

I'm not sure, kwb, to what you are referring, but MakeItSo's analysis is pretty close. The only adjustment that I suggest to MakeItSo's avaluation is: "78% of railroad stations receive service from a single freight-service provider instead of multiple freight-service providers."

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
“People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

RE: Same Meaning?

@ SantaMufasa
I was resonding to the original question. My response and Makeitso's agree (I am forced to brevity at the moment)

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: Same Meaning?

I disagree with kwbMitel's interpretation of statement #2.
Rather than describe a monopoloy, I'd say it means that
78 percent are service by only 1 freight company, but not
necessarily the same one.

Statement #1 says that there is only 1 freight company that
services 78 percent of the railroad stations.

Randy

RE: Same Meaning?

Quote:

Only one freight rail company serves 78 percent of railroad stations within the United States.

There is one freight railroad that serves 78 percent of stations. It is not apparent if the service at those stations is exclusive. There may be any number of other railroads that serve 77 or less percent. There may be any number of railroads that serve 79 or greater percent.

Quote:

Seventy-eight percent of railroad stations within the USA are served by only one freight rail company.

There is no information in this sentence about the number of railroads. If there are 100 stations there could be 78 separate railroads that each service only one station - although a railroad there services only one station is not particularly useful. 39 railroads each with two station would satisfy this sentence, as would 1 railroad with 78 exclusive stations, or any number of permutations in between those extremes.

RE: Same Meaning?

@ randy700
interesting

does #1 still make sense with the following addition(s)
Some serve more, and some serve less, but only one freight rail company serves 78 percent of railroad stations within the United States.

Does #2 Still make sense with the same additions?
Some serve more, and some serve less, but Seventy-eight percent of railroad stations within the USA are served by only one freight rail company.

For me, the first still adds up but the second fails the logic test

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: Same Meaning?

(OP)
@kwbMitel
Is there a difference between:
Seventy-eight percent of railroad stations within the USA are served by only one freight rail company.
and
Seventy-eight percent of railroad stations within the USA are served by only one and the same freight rail company.

--------------
Good Luck
To get the most from your Tek-Tips experience, please read
FAQ181-2886: How can I maximize my chances of getting an answer?
Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something. - Plato

RE: Same Meaning?

@ CC>> I believe there is a distinct difference but if youre looking for me to define the rules that apply I cant

The first example, there can be overlap on the 78% where multiple freight rail companies serve the same stations. Only one serves a total of 78% though.

The second example limits overlap by stating that 78% are served by only 1 company. That same company can actually serve 100%, but it is the only company to serve those 78%. the remaining companies and possibly the same company share the last 22%

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: Same Meaning?

@CC:
Touché. That nuance has escaped me. blush

Yes, the second of your original sentences does not describe a monopoly, only a very limited service at these stations.
"one and the same" would be the monopoly.

“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” (Kofi Annan)
Oppose SOPA, PIPA, ACTA; measures to curb freedom of information under whatever name whatsoever.

RE: Same Meaning?

completely missed the "And only one" meaning on the second example

yes, 78% could be served by 78 different companies each serving "only one" station

Still, The 2 sentences do not agree.

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: Same Meaning?

#1: If that sentence wants to say, that all other freight rail companies serve less than 78% percent of the stations, then I'd put it
"No US freight rail company serves more than 78% of US railway stations."

If you don't make that implication that sentence really only makes a very weak statement. It doesn't even tell about a maximum or minimum value. It's like saysing: Only one day is the 28th February of the Year 2013.

#2: This is a statement from the perspective of stations, not companies. It doesn't say anything about a single freight company and so no matter if you make the "no more" implication to #1 or not, it's a totally different statement. This could also be true, if no freight company would serve 78% of the stations and there are many companies, but each only serving a few regional stations and there is not much overlap. I see from the reactions, this sentence can be interpreted wrongly, but I don't see how this could be put in a more precise way. Perhaps:
"78% of railroad stations within the USA are not served by multiple freight rail companies."

Bye, Olaf.

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