Saturday, April 11, 2015

Numeracy Nazi

C'mon, Ed: I know you know better than this.

Even those in the top 90 percent of salaries in personal congressional offices are barely at $100,000. Median salaries in member offices are consistently below $50,000. Committee staff earn more, but even those in the top 90 percent are only earning about $160,000,
"the top 90 percent of salaries" are all but the lowest 10 percent of salaries.  What he means is those salaries in the 90th percentile, or the top 10 percent.

Yes, percentile is an uncommon concept with which most people are not familiar, but that is no reason to confuse it with "percent." Just say the "top 10 percent of salaries" and avoid the percentile question altogether.

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