Friday, June 24, 2011

Fencepost Error

The whole thing is fun to listen to, but pay attention at about the 2:05 mark.

For a guy who complains about journalists and their math skills, he made a real lulu himself:
2000 pres, 2002 congressional ... 2004 presidential is truly 4 years from first to last. His oh so smarmy "2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 equals five years" is a classic "fencepost error" - it's not five years from 11/2000 to 11/2004, it's four.
11/2000 to 11/2001
11/2001 to 11/2002
11/2002 to 11/2003
11/2003 to 11/2004

That's one, two, three, four.

"And when you try to cover complicated issues, odds are you're going to make a mess of it."

So true.


  1. My rule of thumb is not to accept any math or science information presented by a journalist.

  2. This one is going on the classroom thumbdrive. "How many errors can you spot?"