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I've read this sentence from one of the LSAT prep tests.

  • The power plant is the most significant source of fossil pollution.

I wanna know what can be implied by the sentence with the use of "the most significant source." Does the sentence imply the following?

  1. The power plant creates most fossil pollution.
  2. The power plant is the primary source of fossil pollution.

I felt the phrase is so vague that I cannot know for certain what does it try to express.

Any helps would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, Leon

1 Answer 1

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The problem here is that the sentence is not unambiguous. It may mean, from a careless writer,

Power plants are the source of more than half of pollutants from fossil fuels.

It more probably means, particularly from a reasonably competent writer,

Power plants are the source of more fossil pollutants than any other source though less than half the total.

That would be the case if these were the facts.

Power plants 40%

Automobiles 35%

All other 25%

Given what was actually written, it makes sense to interpret the actual sentence as meaning “more than any other but less than half.” The reason for that interpretation is that the writer would probably want to emphasize the fact if power plants were responsible for more pollutants than all other sources put together.

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