Those numbers :-(

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Posted by Ueli ( on November 29, 2001 at 13:23:44:

In Reply to: Medical Articles posted by Bob P on November 29, 2001 at 11:46:55:

Don't forget, the big brains don't have the time nor the skill to type their reports themselves, so what we read has gone through the hands of a typist, who is often quite innumerate, and for whom per cent and per mille is the same thing, something they have no idea about :-( And if they can't find a per mille sign () on their keyboard, they use the nearest thing, %. Add to this the bad habit of dropping a leading zero, shortening 0.1% to .1%, out of which a sloppy reader makes 1% and you arrive at the most fantastic numbers (the highest fraction I've seen was 50%). The most reliable numbers I've seen up to now are 7 to 10 in 10'000 (ten thousand) giving a fraction of 0.7 to 1 (per mille), equivalent to 0.07% to 0.1% (per cent). Some media people who are proud of their verbal skills are also proud of the fact that they are completely ignorant of numbers, arghhh.

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