There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and offbyone errors
fred rosenberger wrote:I was reading something earlier today, and came across basically this:
"The model was 25 times smaller than real life"
Now, to me, this is confusing. "25 times" should make something bigger. I mean, "the model was 1/25 the size of real life" makes perfect sense. "Real life is 25 times bigger than the model", "Real life is 25 times the size of the model"  again, make perfect sense.
But saying something is X times SMALLER, where X > 1, just seems like saying "positive A is negative" or "The dry thing was wet".
Why do people do this?
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fred rosenberger wrote:The model was 25 times smaller than real life
fred rosenberger wrote:"The model was 25 times smaller than real life"
But then I learned when I was 10 years old that "5 times bigger" meant the same thing as "6 times as big as",
Oh, they do use "10 percent bigger" to mean the same as "110 percent as big as" pretty uniformly
ankur rathi wrote:
But then I learned when I was 10 years old that "5 times bigger" meant the same thing as "6 times as big as",
This is not right.
fred rosenberger wrote:I was reading something earlier today, and came across basically this:
"The model was 25 times smaller than real life"
Now, to me, this is confusing. "25 times" should make something bigger. I mean, "the model was 1/25 the size of real life" makes perfect sense. "Real life is 25 times bigger than the model", "Real life is 25 times the size of the model"  again, make perfect sense.
But saying something is X times SMALLER, where X > 1, just seems like saying "positive A is negative" or "The dry thing was wet".
Why do people do this?
Paul Clapham wrote:
ankur rathi wrote:
But then I learned when I was 10 years old that "5 times bigger" meant the same thing as "6 times as big as",
This is not right.
Are you sure it's not right? Not to set myself up as an expert, but I'm a native speaker of English and I don't think you are. But it's like I said, other people don't follow that rule. Even other people who are native speakers of English.
Mike Simmons wrote:Five times X is 5X, sure. But five times bigger than X is X + 5X, which is 6X.
fred rosenberger wrote:..."The model was 25 times smaller than real life"...
"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer
sscce.org
marc weber wrote:I think they meant to say, "The reciprocal of the square of one less than the first perfect number."
But unless they define what "real life" means, it's not going to make sense anyway.
Mike Simmons wrote:Five times X is 5X, sure. But five times bigger than X is X + 5X, which is 6X.
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