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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Statistics quotation (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Magnus Eisengrim
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Sulla placed heads on
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Was just crusing aroud http://www.talkstats.com and I found

"If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything" - Ronald Coase


John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Woland
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Thanks for sharing. Have often heard that said, did not know the source. However, it should read "they will confess to anything."
balducci
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FWIW, the meaning of the word "data" has changed over the years ... it is commonly used and accepted nowadays as both a singular and plural term.

From Wikipedia:

In English, the word datum is still used in the general sense of "an item given". In cartography, geography, nuclear magnetic resonance and technical drawing it is often used to refer to a single specific reference datum from which distances to all other data are measured. Any measurement or result is a datum, but data point is more usual,[1] albeit tautological. Both datums (see usage in datum article) and the originally Latin plural data are used as the plural of datum in English, but data is commonly treated as a mass noun and used with a verb in the singular form, especially in day-to-day usage. For example, This is all the data from the experiment. This usage is inconsistent with the rules of Latin grammar and traditional English (These are all the data from the experiment). Even when a very small quantity of data is referenced (One number, for example) the phrase piece of data is often used, as opposed to datum. The debate over appropriate usage is ongoing.

The IEEE Computer Society, allows usage of data as either a mass noun or plural based on author preference.[2]

Data is accepted as a singular mass noun in everyday educated usage.[5][6] Some major newspapers such as The New York Times use it either in the singular or plural. In the New York Times the phrases "the survey data are still being analyzed" and "the first year for which data is available" have appeared within one day.[7] [8] In scientific writing data is often treated as a plural, as in These data do not support the conclusions, but it is also used as a singular mass entity like information. British usage now widely accepts treating data as singular in standard English,[9] including everyday newspaper usage[10] at least in non-scientific use.[11] UK scientific publishing still prefers treating it as a plural.[12] Some UK university style guides recommend using data for both singular and plural use[13] and some recommend treating it only as a singular in connection with computers.[14]
Make America Great Again! - Trump in 2020 ... "We're a capitalistic society. I go into business, I don't make it, I go bankrupt. They're not going to bail me out. I've been on welfare and food stamps. Did anyone help me? No." - Craig T. Nelson, actor.
critter
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I can't remember who said it, but I like this one:
"While it is possible to lie with statistics, it is much easier with a single case study."
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
LobowolfXXX
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Whoever wrote that obviously never heard that torture doesn't work.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
Woland
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What may be acceptable to hoi polloi is not always what should be, or what is desirable. Mangled Latin plural forms are also all too common in English today. It grates me to see or hear the non-word "diverticulae," for example.
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