I’ve talked before about seeing poorly written blurbs on display screens in elevators. I saw another one recently that gave me pause. It claimed that a new study suggests that people who eat spicy foods are 17% less likely to die than other people. I don’t think that means what they think it means.
There should have been some kind of time-based qualifier.
I don’t think people who eat spicy foods live forever.
17% less likely to die? Aren’t all people 100% likely to die? Everyone is going to die, sooner or later. Clearly, they must mean the study suggests that people who eat spicy foods are 17% less likely to die early, perhaps by a particular age range, than people who do not eat spicy foods.
That isn’t what they said.
Now, I know that reporting isn’t as rigorous these days. We don’t demand it, and aren’t willing to pay for it. News comes too fast and in too great a stream for that. A little blurb on a screen in an elevator is even worse.
However, this merited at least one additional word. “Early” would have at least helped.