Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Exaggerated Language

Here are two instances of exaggerated language from the Star Tribune in the past week or so.

First, the use of the word "climb" to describe a 1 percent increase in violent crime.

What do you think of when you hear the word "climb"? Is it an increase of 1 percent? To me, it implies more than that, especially when crime rates are at a historic low. If your broker told you your stock portfolio had "climbed" 1 percent, wouldn't you feel a bit duped?

Then there's the "surge" in injuries to workers at the state's Security Hospital:

Check out that graph at right. Yes, there's been an increase in injuries between 2013 and 2014, but there was a decrease the year before, and it's been up and down each year. There's no trend in that graph, let alone a surge.

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