# Being precise matters! “But Mom, ALL my friends get to do it….”

The question of how far a term applies is called the **‘distribution’** of a term. Terms are either ‘**distributed’ **or **‘undistributed’.**

And to answer the question – no – pretty is NOT JUST referring to gals, but to other members of the pretty set.

When we make a **universal affirmative** claim *(an A statement)* : All gals are pretty, we are talking about the subject term gals. And, YES, since we have the quantifier ‘all’ ,then gals IS **distributed** because…… we are talking about **every single member** of the set of gals.

What about the predicate term of pretty?

As you can see, it makes sense that there are other people/things that are pretty besides gals! So pretty is **undistributed** in this A (all) statement.

*If you scroll to the end of the blog you will see a chart that summarizes the nomenclature for both Subject and Predicate terms in each of the 4 propositions. Once I explain it, it’s much easier to just remember the pattern by its nickname. Scatological references being the source of humor for 13 year old boys, my 1 ^{st} crop of 8^{th} graders called it the DUDUs and UUDDs chart. And I have found that easy to remember and draw out myself. *

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How about a **particular affirmative** claim, (*the I statement*)? Are the S and P terms **undistributed** or **distributed**?

This one is easy – Some books are boring.

Since we are only talking about a partial group of books, then books is **undistributed**. And just as obvious, there are other things besides books that are boring, so boring as the predicate term is equally **undistributed**.

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No guns are safe is our **universal negative**, (*the E proposition*). According to our chart, the S term and the P terms are both **distributed**. It’s easy to see why it if we draw it out.

Are we talking about every single member of the gun category? Yes, so guns is **distributed**. Are we saying about the safe things category that all of them do not (or none of them) apply to guns? Yes – so safe is **distributed**.

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Finally, let’s look at a **particular negative ***(the O proposition):*** **Some homework is not difficult. Homework will be **undistributed** because clearly we are not talking about every member of the homework class. But what about difficult? That is ‘more difficult’ to see in our mind’s eye, so let’s look at a drawing to understand why the predicate term difficult IS in fact **distributed**.

We conclude that everything that belongs IN the set of difficult things has nothing to do with the ‘some HW’ that is shaded yellow. You can see that we are making that predicate term **distributed** in this O proposition.

Next week we will use this concept of **distributed/undistributed** terms when we pick up with Rule # 3 for evaluating the validity of a syllogism.

Here’s our challenge – keep working on being precise with your language. In other words, “ **Mean what you say and say what you mean!”**

Here’s the infamous DUDUs and UUDDs chart: *( warning – you have to remember to write the 1^{st} vertical column of Quantifiers in the correct order: A,I,E,O)*

Subj | Pred | |

A(all) | D | U |

I (some) | U | U |

E (no) | D | D |

O (some…not) | U | D |

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