Friday, August 04, 2006

americans are averse to the metric system

* for a bunch of reasons, xymphora points to this LAT poll:
The poll found that nearly three in five respondents — 59% — backed Israel in the dispute that has now lasted more than three weeks, leaving hundreds dead and aligning much of the world in disagreement with the United States and Israel over whether to pursue an immediate cease-fire.
i'm not even going to comment about the content - but i just want to note, for no particular reason, that one aspect of (particularly poll) reporting drives me crazy. i understand that americans are averse to the metric system (and i'm desperately tempted to suggest it's apparently because half of them probably dont have ten fingers - but i won't) - but can someone explain to me the value of saying "nearly three in five respondents — 59%"?

is there any incremental value in that vs simply saying "59%"? is it a word-count thing? something else? can someone explain it to me?

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Nearly 59% means they rounded the numbers up to an even 59, as opposed to over 59% which would mean they rounded the numbers down to an even 59. Instead of using decimals.....