Friday, June 3, 2011

Trouble with Arithmetic

From Excélsior:
It would be great if a headline like this could go above a story about poor math test scores in Mexico.


Charles Pergiel said...

I'm guessing the headline translates as:

In ten years the number of Mexicans in the European Union has doubled

and the text says the number has increased by half, which is not the same thing. If I got that much right, then you are trying to argue facts which everyone knows is a futile proposition. People operate on feelings, and for that the exact number doesn't matter, all that matters is that it is a BIG increase. The numbers are only there to make it look official, or important, or true, or some other such nonsense.

pc said...

It's actually the US (estados unidos) but otherwise the translation is correct. I'm afraid I have to disagree that arguing facts and numbers is a futile proposition. Especially simple ones, like these. But in any event, I think we can expect people to distinguish between a doubling and a 50 percent rise.