Below are the answers (italicized) to questions from previous lesson:

  1. What are the total number of possible outcomes with each coin toss?
    Two, as there two sides to a coin
  2. What are the chances of you, after your 25 outcomes, getting a Tail on next toss?
    The first 25 outcomes are irrelevant, each toss is independent of all other tosses.  Coins don’t have memory or a sense of what’s right and wrong.  Tails is 1 possible outcome/2 total number of outcomes = 1/2
  3. What are the chances of you getting Heads on both the next two tosses?
    First ask what is probability of getting heads in the first toss.  It’s 1/2.  What is probability of getting heads in the second toss?  It’s 1/2.  So 1/2.  1/2*1/2=1/4 is the answer.  Another way to look at it is to ask what are the possible outcomes for the two tosses?  

    TT    HH    HT    TH  

    HH happens once out of four possible outcomes. 

  4. What are the chances of you getting Tails and then a Head in the next two tosses?
    Chances of getting Tails in first toss is 1/2.  Chances of getting Heads in second toss is 1/2.  So 1/2*1/2=1/4.  Same approach as one used in question 3.  

Today’s Questions

  1. What are the total number of possible outcomes with each roll of a six sided dice?
  2. What are the chances of getting a “3” on a roll of this dice?
  3. What are the chances of getting a “3” and a “3” on two rolls of this dice?
  4. What are the chances of getting a “4” and then a “6” and then a “2” on three rolls of this dice?
  5. What are the chances of getting three Heads on three tosses of a coin?

Editing Bad Writing Exercise — Adverbs

Yesterday’s exercise:

The following exercise will help you answer that question.  Improve the following sentences by removing an adverb:

  1. Stacy has a really nice ass.
  2. This book is rather boring.
  3. Jim is quite handsome
  4. This is simply unacceptable.
  5. The cabin is somewhat far from here.
  6. I can sorta do that.
  7. It’s terribly cold in here.
  8. I generally don’t go to the movies often.
  9. This is absolutely terrible.
  10. She’s a fairly good artist.

Compare what your revisions with the originals.  How are they different?   We’ll go over this next lesson.

Let’s compare, edited version in italics:

  1. Stacy has a really nice ass.
    Stacy has a nice ass.
  2. This book is rather boring.
    This book is boring.
  3. Jim is quite handsome
    Jim is handsome
  4. This is simply unacceptable.
    This is unacceptable.
  5. You seriously must be joking.
    You must be joking.   
  6. I can sorta do that.
    I struggle when doing that.
  7. It’s terribly cold in here.
    It’s cold in here. 
  8. I generally don’t go to the movies often.
    I don’t go to the movies often. 
  9. This is absolutely terrible.
    This is terrible.
  10. She’s a fairly good artist.
    She’s a decent artist.

Which version sounds more confident?  Which version sounds as if the writer is unsure of himself.  Which version sounds flaky?  Which version inspires trust and provides clarity?

Less is More Exercise

Let’s review “less is more” principle of good writing.

  • Less is more

Be concise and succinct, use as few words and syllables as possible.  Write only what needs to be written.  It’s bad manners to waste people’s time.  We’ll practice brevity in next lesson.

Edit the following sentences:

  1. I want to utilize my skills to help grow your organization.
  2. She opened the envelope, which contained a confidential document inside.
  3. After reading it with close scrutiny, she discovered it was written in the exact same handwriting as the mysterious note she’d received before.
  4. The reason she knew this was becauseof handwriting studies in her past history.
  5. There is currently a lively, ongoing controversy among many sociologists and other professionals who study human nature : theories are being spun and arguments are being conducted among them about what it means that so many young people—and older people, for that matter—who live in our society today are so very interested in stories about zombies.

Tip: look for redundancies and eliminate them.