A rant about the phrase "most Americans"

January 21, 2020 at 7:40 pm (By Amba) (, , )

is live on The Compulsive Copyeditor:

“A new CNN poll shows that most Americans want the Senate to remove Trump from office (51 to 45 percent), most want to hear from the witnesses that Trump blocked from testifying in the House (69 percent), and most believe that he abused the power of the presidency (58 percent) and obstructed Congress (57 percent).”

~ Teresa Hanafin, “Fast Forward” (Boston Globe newsletter)

I’m sorry, but no matter where you stand on Trump, the Senate, impeachment, or CNN, 51 percent is NOT “MOST” Americans. It is, for all practical purposes, half.

Read the whole thing.

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Random Observations #3 (Updated)

May 3, 2013 at 7:54 pm (Icepick) (, , , , , )

So many things have changed since I was my daughter’s age.

  • There’s one fewer planet in our Solar System now.
  • There are a lot more planets known now, all outside our system.
  • When I was her age, we went to the Moon; these days we have to hitchhike rides to low Earth orbit from the remnant of our one-time mortal enemy.
  • Which means that all those planets are just that much farther away now.
  • The brontosaurus is no more, replaced by the more taxonomically correct apatosaurus.
  • The disposable diaper.
  • The mores and morals of the country.
  • The socio-economic and demographic structure of the country: we’re a lot more like a Third World country these days in so many ways.
  • Extremely powerful computers are so common that they’re hardly remarked upon anymore – except by people roughly my age and older. We remember when computers of any power were much less common than toasters, not more common than radios.

UPDATE: wj makes the following additional, excellent point in the comments:

I’d add ubiquitous cameras. It’s not just that everybody has a cell phone with a camera . . . and seems to use it constantly. It’s that cameras seem to be in every public space, and running most of the time. No doubt this is handy for police trying to track criminals. But it means that you have to get a long way into the country to have any chance of any privacy in your life.

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