LETTER: Hoisted by my own ‘per cent’

Following my rant last week [April 7] about English and Maths I fell into my own trap by not scrutinising my letter before publication.

Eagle-eyed readers will have spotted that instead of recording ‘four per cent’ I stated ‘0.04 ‘ per cent and left out a word as well!

Apologies for that... hoisted by my own per cent you could say.

The real point of the rant was in reference to our age of having ballots, consultations, polls, referendums, etc, for just about everything which has created such a minefield in defining, recording and reporting the results which unless very carefully managed are constantly being challenged.

Probably more so if you don’t like the outcome but I still feel that using ‘most’ or ‘majority’ are dangerous words without the appropriate statistical and methodology backup.

Otherwise you could face the ‘How do you know?’

Based on what? ‘Where are the numbers?’, ‘Prove it’, etc.

My annoying but fictitious hair shampoo analogy (as you will recognise based on real commercials) was hardly informative, raising questions about the sampling techniques used not to mention the accuracy of the data.

There is however one interesting conundrum... how to respond to that old rant ‘lies, damned lies and statistics’.

That could be one for more or less to debate upon and report the result.

Rod Colley

College Road, Seaford