# "Nearly Infallible"

My first and last post in this thread

If something is almost infallible it just means it is fallible

Almost impossible means it is possible

Almost a circle means it is not a circle

So it is to a degree of APPROACHING
infallibility
Impossible
Circle

NOT a degree OF
infallibility
Impossible
Circle

I liked this approaching aspect. Good one. We all knew, even kittamaru understood the point, but none could express it so mathematically clear.

Kittamaru,

You are cute.

Tell me seriously, do you still think that technically degree can be associated with both fallible and infallible?

Pl note it is not my argument (#6) that nearly infallible is bad or not used in general, but you started a thread on this issue to prove MR wrong and yourself right. Then it becomes the matter of exactness, in that sense nearly perfect or nearly infallible or nearly circle is not right.

I do not think that even MR meant that "nearly infallible" is so bad that it cannot be used at all. He took you on this, because you guys were on each other's neck, otherwise none notices such things as long as meaning or intent gets conveyed.

Hint : if you agree with baldee or DaveC on this, then that's sufficient.

MR said that "nearly infallible" is impossible - my point is to determine if that is accurate (as he claims) or not (as I claim).

Yes but while "very unique" (or "very infallible") would be wrong, for the reasons you give, there is nothing wrong, surely, with describing something as "almost unique" or "practically unique"?

So I see nothing wrong with "almost infallible".
Which is what I had thought as well.

I don't think anyone disagrees that the phrasing is used, commonly even, but the question is (as I understand it) what is technically correct.
I guess part of that is what constitutes "correctness" within an evolving language.
Who is to judge?
If the message is conveyed accurately, language has surely done its job as required.
And that is all anyone can ask of it.

But that said, yes, you are probably right.

Equally, picking up on what Kit posted, that if "infallible" is used as a measure of how often one is wrong then "nearly infallible" would seem to be correct.
The same as the glass being "nearly full" etc.
So this would surely apply to "unique" as well.

But then I don't claim to be infallible, so I may be wrong in this.
Although I am unique.
Almost.

Lol, fair enough! T'would seem, then, that its usage determines the criteria for correctness. The particular usage that spawned this thread was:
Still waiting for you to quote where I said drivers' memories are "near infallible". I don't even know what that means. I mean something is either fallible or infallible. There's no such thing as something being near infallible.
and
Or nearly infallible either. No such thing.

It appears to be, at least in my understanding, an attempt to re-define words to fit the desired narrative.

My first and last post in this thread

If something is almost infallible it just means it is fallible

Almost impossible means it is possible

Almost a circle means it is not a circle

So it is to a degree of APPROACHING
infallibility
Impossible
Circle

NOT a degree OF
infallibility
Impossible
Circle

Hm, a fair enough assessment, if a bit more black and white than shades of grey, but I like it

nearly infallible

if infallible = perfect
then
I am a shooter
I hit at least 98% of my targets
I ain't perfect(infallible)
but I do come close
"nearly infallible"
seems easier to think of than "almost perfect"

(the army went with "expert"--------) (the meaning of which remained unexplained)

ok
so
I'll go with "My marksmanship is nearly infallible" with no regrets

----------------------------
ain't no black and white, all is/are grey scales.

Infallible is infallible, no qualifiers pl. It's either infallible or not.
One is one. It's either one or not. But there's nothing wrong with nearly one.

Full is full.
It's either full or not.

Can a glass ever be "nearly full"?
Oh, the ridiculousness of it!

Only the gravest of matters are pondered on Sci.

Oh, the profundity of it all!

The humanity...

Full is full.
It's either full or not.

Can a glass ever be "nearly full"?
Oh, the ridiculousness of it!

I can go with nearly full

If say a container holds 100 litres and there are 99.99 litres in the container I have no problem accepting it as nearly full

It only suggest a closeness to a full state

Something can be almost impossible which stands for

with a bit more effort it will be possible

suggesting it has been done but very infrequently

However it does not work in reverse so to speak

Almost possible seems to indicate a knowledge of how it done which begs the question well why hasn't it been done?

Damn I broke my own rule I was only going to make one post here

New rule

Will only make 2 post here

Can a glass ever be "nearly full"?
Can you ever be near new York City?

Of course the glass can be nearly full - not full but near to full.

Let's change a bit, can the qualifier "nearly" be used with infallible?

It's like "nearly genius" or "nearly honest" if used to describe a person. Appears quite improper.

If at all it is ok to use qualifier here, then should it not be "almost infallible"?

Full is full.
It's either full or not.

Can a glass ever be "nearly full"?
Oh, the ridiculousness of it!
What I think we are all struggling to articulate is that some adjectives are "non-comparable". Infallible and unique are examples. That means you cannot have "more" infallible or unique, or "very" infallible or unique.

But you can perfectly well have "nearly" infallible or unique, as that is not a comparative construction. It is simply that the thing in question is very close to being in a state such that the term can be applied, or that the inaccuracy implied in applying it is small.

I do not know why baldee feels that nearly full is a problem, full represents quantity here. We can say nearly full or almost full. It's like nearly empty or almost empty....much more prevalent than nearly infallible.

It's like "nearly genius" or "nearly honest" if used to describe a person. Appears quite improper.
"Nearly genius" is one IQ point below genius. "Nearly honest" is occasionally dishonest.

Only the gravest of matters are pondered on Sci.

Oh, the profundity of it all!

The humanity...
It's a nearly interesting argument...

I do not know why baldee feels that nearly full is a problem, full represents quantity here. We can say nearly full or almost full. It's like nearly empty or almost empty....much more prevalent than nearly infallible.
Baldeee doesn't have a problem with it.
You seem to be missing the that was included to signify (at least I hoped it would) that it was clearly intended as sarcasm.

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Baldeee doesn't have a problem with it.
You seem to be missing the that was included to signify (at least I hoped it would) that it was clearly intended as sarcasm.

Oh, he is nearly honest, it is just that he was caught bribing a policeman!

"Nearly genius" is one IQ point below genius. "Nearly honest" is occasionally dishonest.

Near genius OK ✓
Near honest NO X

Best near honest is ~ approx little dishonest

New rule only 3 post here

Oh, he is nearly honest, it is just that he was caught bribing a policeman!

I tried that once circa 45 years ago when I handed the policeman my drivers licence with a \$100. bill attached. (for speeding---my 3rd that year---at the time 3 speeding tickets within 1 year = lose your drivers licence)
He didn't want it and returned the \$, while blocking the view of his partner, and saying: "Put that away and don't try that again". So, I went to court and gave \$50. to a lawyer who whispered something to the judge who admonished me to slow down and dismissed the case.

If the time I spent going to court was worth \$50. then I came out even.
I did not think offering the cop the \$100. was dishonest, just expeditious.

EDIT - fixed LaTeX formatting. -Kittamaru

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Best near honest is ~ approx little dishonest
Honesty is necessarily approximate. There is no way to accurately measure it, so "nearly honest" is a valid approximation.

She nearly fell in love with him.

<>

That does not sound right but I hate the word almost.