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Q. Choose the only correct answer to this question:

  1. Option 1
  2. Option 1 or option 2
  3. Option 2 or option 3

Answer the correct option along with the explanation.

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My answer:

Option 1
The question asks us to "Answer this question with exactly one correct answer."
option 2 gives 2 answers.
option 3 gives 2 answers, (one of which gives another)

Therefore, only option 1 could give "exactly one correct answer"

Further explanation:

The question was a bit misleading. It's true that all 3 answers could be "correct" if the answer is option 1. There is a "trick" in the question because [this question] refers to the title: "Answer this question with exactly one correct answer." Emphasis on exactly one.

2 and 3 don't give exactly one answer. It might be better if they had been listed this way to separate the answers from themselves a little better:

A. Option 1
B. Option 1 or option 2
C. Option 2 or option 3

Note that, in my mind for this to make the most sense, Option 1 does not refer to 'A', but rather some unknown "answer."

A similar question with the same reasoning would be: (Assume all animals are your "favorite")

Answer with exactly one of your favorite animals:
A. Cats
B. Cats or Dogs
C. Cats, Dogs, or Llamas

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  • $\begingroup$ I admit @AdamDavis's answer was before mine; I found his wording confusing and didn't even realize it says the same thing until just now >< $\endgroup$ – DoubleDouble Apr 13 '15 at 21:43
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    $\begingroup$ You seem to have interpreted the question backward. You would be right if the answers said "and" instead of "or", but as it stands, having option 1 be correct makes all three answers correct (exactly the opposite of what the question requires). $\endgroup$ – Brilliand Apr 13 '15 at 23:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Brilliand but also, having option 3 correct implies that option 2 could also possibly be correct, as it is not an exclusive or. $\endgroup$ – Andrew Smith Apr 14 '15 at 8:09
  • $\begingroup$ @AndrewSmith for 3 it is either option 2 or option 3, not both, it is, as you say, an exclusive or. if the OP really says it should be option one than this question, is well... sorry stupid.. $\endgroup$ – Vincent Apr 14 '15 at 9:27
  • $\begingroup$ @VincentAdvocaat I agree, was just showing that if option 3 is true, then the others are not necessarily false. By that (stupid) logic, I'm not sure there is only one answer $\endgroup$ – Andrew Smith Apr 14 '15 at 9:33
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Option 3.

If 1. would be the answer then 2. would be also an answer. So 1. would not be the only answer.

If 2. would be the answer then 3. would be also an answer. So 2. would not be the only answer.

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    $\begingroup$ if the real answer were 'option 2', your answer is wrong as both 2 and 3 would be correct. $\endgroup$ – ps2goat Apr 13 '15 at 22:01
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    $\begingroup$ @ps2goat The real answer can't be "option 2" - he addressed that. "option 3" is the only possible correct answer. $\endgroup$ – Brilliand Apr 13 '15 at 22:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Brilliand, perhaps it would be less ambiguous if the multiple choice options were labeled with 'A', 'B', and 'C.' $\endgroup$ – ps2goat Apr 14 '15 at 17:01
  • $\begingroup$ @ps2goat I don't think that changes things. The fact remains that if "option 1" is right, the question has two correct answers; if "option 2" is true, the question has two correct answers; but if only "option 3" is true, the third answer (whatever it's labeled) is the only correct answer. The only way the accepted answer is right is if the "options" are considered the answers and the three possible choices are just ways to respond - which, I think, could only be communicated by telling a story. $\endgroup$ – Brilliand Apr 21 '15 at 18:15
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None of the above; it's actually not a question, so there is no such thing as an answer to it.

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    $\begingroup$ If the OP isn't a question, the proper procedure is to downvote and vote to close. :p This is a complaint against the OP... it can't really be construed as a valid answer. $\endgroup$ – Brilliand Apr 13 '15 at 23:06
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Perhaps the answer is:

Exactly one correct answer.

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We know that it cannot be Option 3 because it doesn't include Option 1 but does include Option 2 which does include Option 1. For Option 3 to be valid it would have to include Option 1.

We know it cannot be Option 2 because it is then not the only, and exactly one, correct answer. Option 3 fails on this account as well, but I like the argument for 3 above better.

Option 1 references only itself, and is exactly one answer, and is thus correct.

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    $\begingroup$ I think the answer is correct, but the reasoning isn't quite right. $\endgroup$ – Necreaux Apr 13 '15 at 20:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Necreaux I would like to see a reason for 2 that couldn't also be used for 3 - in other words they are both the wrong option, but for significantly different (and very logical) reasons. The fact that the reasoning I use for 2 could also apply to 3 suggests I've missed something. $\endgroup$ – Adam Davis Apr 13 '15 at 20:13
  • $\begingroup$ I actually think the opposite. #3 cannot be the answer for the same reason you outlined #2 cannot be the reason. That's just my two cents though. $\endgroup$ – Necreaux Apr 13 '15 at 20:24
  • $\begingroup$ +1 For getting the right answer but not getting accepted. $\endgroup$ – Bob Apr 15 '15 at 14:26
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So this is question:

Choose the only correct answer to this question:

I would choose 1 for the only correct answer.

If I choose 2, there are 2 answers including Option 1 and Option 2. So it is not only one answer.

If I choose 3, there are 2 too including Option 2 and Option 3. It is also not the only one answer.

So one only has Option 1 & that would be the correct answer.

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  • $\begingroup$ This would also make option 2 a possibility. $\endgroup$ – Vincent Apr 14 '15 at 9:24
  • $\begingroup$ +1 For getting the right answer but not getting accepted. $\endgroup$ – Bob Apr 15 '15 at 14:26
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Option 3.

Assuming one of the options is the right answer, option 3 contains option 2 and 3 and option 2 itself contains option 1 and 2, so you have all the options combined.

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