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#160999 07/16/06 11:17 AM
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This was a recent headline about a very rare lobster captured recently:

The chances of catching one of these is at least one in 50 million

It would have taken SO little to make this correct! ARGH


TEd
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Free Republic says in both the lead and the story "say the odds or finding a half-and-half lobster are 1 in 50 million to 100 million."
While looking for the story, it seems that another one was caught in Nova Scotia the week before that was not only 2 colors but 2 sexes. The other statistical problem is that they mean that 1 in 50 to 100 million lobsters are half-and-half colored. The odds of someone finding one would vary depend on how many lobsters he catches. The odds of my catching a lobster of even one color are 0.

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>>The odds of my catching a lobster of even one color are 0.



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I was talking about the sentence itself. Let me put it another way. The chances of my letting you buy me a drink are at least one in 50 million. Actually the chances are much closer to 50 million in 50 million.

The headline could have been made technically correct in one of two ways:

The odds of catching such a lobster are at least 50 million to one.

OR

The chances of catching such a lobster are one in at least 50 million.

As written, the sentence says the chances are at least one in 50 million, implying that they may well be greater than one in 50 million, perhaps even 10 in 50 million or 1000 in 50 million, but the at least modifies the one and not the 50 million.


TEd
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Yep. And the subject-verb agreement in the original sentence is wrong, too. [/prescriptivist]

#161004 07/18/06 01:25 AM
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That may have been my typo


TEd

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