What is imprecision?

Inaccuracy is the property of the vacancy. This term (vague), on the other hand, can refer to something that is empty, unsteady, or inaccurate.

For example: “Experts expressed their astonishment at the imprecision of the communiqué issued by the city hall” , “I find it regrettable that a presidential candidate expresses himself in such a vague way when analyzing the most transcendental issues in the country” , “Having to explain how there were got the money, the man spoke vaguely and gave no details”.

The notion of imprecision, therefore, is used to qualify statements that do not show support or that are not clear. Suppose a teacher asks a student why he didn’t do his homework. The young man, instead of giving a concrete answer, responds vaguely: “I was in the mood to do my homework, but these days are a little difficult for me. I got home and looked for the notebook, but the phone rang and it was too hot; although I wanted to fulfill my obligations, in the end I couldn’t”. As can be seen, the student does not provide a coherent explanation and only responds with vague sentences. Inaccuracy can be considered a serious flaw in some contexts. If a public official cannot explain how he managed to increase his wealth by 100% in just one year, this inaccuracy can be taken as an indication of a possible act of corruption. Otherwise, the employee in question could clearly explain the source of his sudden enrichment and refute any accusations or suspicions. Difference between imprecision and ambiguity These two terms are often used synonymously, but they have clear differences apart from the fact that they both allow for the use of imprecise language. When we use an ambiguous expression or word, we want it to express more than one meaning, while vagueness focuses on just one, but makes it difficult to decipher. Through an ambiguous language, the sender offers a richness that can hide more than one message behind a sentence or even a word, while vagueness invites the interlocutor to search for a single message. To understand what was said in the previous paragraph, let’s look at the following example: “The truth is that this film is tremendous” . The adjective “tremendous” has several meanings, and only the first two that the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy shows us are practically opposites: “terrible, to be feared”, “to be respected”. Therefore, we can say that the sentence of the example is ambiguous, as it could very well mean that the film is very bad or that it is a true masterpiece.

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If, on the other hand, the network had said, “Oh yes, what a movie!” , the message does not provide us with clear information, but we do not immerse ourselves in vacancies: we cannot know whether the work is to the sender’s liking or not, and for that we must investigate the matter . In this case, there are no terms that can guide us, but a simple exclamation that is not enough to issue a possible verdict. In ambiguity, it is always possible to resolve the meaning once the context is established, while vagueness often presents words that never provide a precise meaning. For example, the term “letter” has several meanings, as it can be an epistle or a book in which a restaurant’s dishes are listed; if used ambiguously, just discover the setting of the story to understand which one it refers to. Words like “tall” or “big”, on the other hand, never provide specific data, but are always vague, regardless of context: tall can be someone who is 1.80 meters, but also a person who is 2.50 meters.

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