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True Humor Amplified

"Forsooth!" is a regular column in the journal RSS News, produced by the Royal Statistical Society in Great Britain. Its goal is to share sound-bytes that deal with misleading statistics and innumeracy.

Some examples:

  • "Due to deforestation the rainfall (in the Peruvian rainforest) is now 120% less than 25 years ago." [Michael Palin, BBC TV, November 2, 1997]
  • "The chances of the baby's chromosomes being defective were 250 to 1, which sounds like reasonable odds. Except that all odds are, in reality, 50-50: it may happen and it may not." [The Times Magazine, August 2, 1997]
  • "One of Labour's priorities is to find a new definition of poverty to replace the popular one which includes anyone earning less than half of average earnings (an unhelpful definition making it statistically impossible to reduce poverty)." [The Guardian, May 8, 1997]
  • "Only 25% of households consist of the classic couple with 2.4 children..." [The Observer, November 10, 1996]
  • "It is important to note that: many beers and wines are stronger than average." [Drinkl/drive campaign leaflet, Department of Transport, 1996]
Catch all of the errors?