DefinitionOfMost

Last edit

Summary: added a little levity.

Changed:

< You: "Well, my great-aunt Ethel smoked 2 packs a day from the age of nine, and died at eighty when her snowmobile hit a tree. So there goes your little theory about smoking."

to

> You: "Well, my great-aunt Ethel smoked 2 packs a day from the age of nine, and died at eighty when her snowmobile hit a tree. So there goes your little theory about smoking."{{Great-Aunt Ethel was on her way home from chemotherapy when she had her fatal snowmobile accident. At least she wasn't run over by a reindeer.}}


Editorial By DanielMacKay

In our society, a large number of people have a huge problem with this word.

On this site, most means at least 50% + 1. It does not mean all. In English we have another word for all. The word is: all.

In fact, in English, most implies not all.

Illustration A

Me: "Most people who smoke a pack a day die of cancer or heart disease." You: "Well, my great-aunt Ethel smoked 2 packs a day from the age of nine, and died at eighty when her snowmobile hit a tree. So there goes your little theory about smoking."1

Illustration B

Me: "Most things fall to the ground when dropped." You: "Well, helium balloons don't, so there goes your little theory."


The problem is that somehow when someone hears the word "most" they think they are hearing a general rule, and are compelled to find an exception to disprove the rule.

If you want to argue that fewer than half of the cases are true, then argue that. Don't argue that a single exception disproves the word MOST.

Footnotes:

1. Great-Aunt Ethel was on her way home from chemotherapy when she had her fatal snowmobile accident. At least she wasn't run over by a reindeer.