Thursday, August 21, 2008


It seems an odd thing to get worked up over, but if it does save a significant amount of energy then maybe you should spread awareness. I for one knew nothing.

There's a common linguistic foible in that article that I hear ALL THE TIME. Here's the sentence:

"According to their calculations, the swinging door allowed as much as eight times more air to pass through the building than the revolving door."

Eight times more means nine times as much.

It's a good bet, I gather from common usage, they really mean that if the revolving door allows one unit of air, then the swinging door allowed as many as eight, which could be said as 8x as much or 7x more. Using the word "more" in the phrase here means that they're referring to the difference between the two amounts in question, not a multiple of the lower one.

To belabor the point: If I have one apple and you give me another one, I have one more but two times as many. If I have one apple and you give me seven I then have eight total, which is seven more, but eight times as many as I originally had.

I hear this everywhere: "4 times more powerful than the leading brand," "get 10 times more results," etc. It irritates me to no end.

God knows how much stuff I say or write irritates other people.

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