Tuesday, October 6, 2009

ACORN:NOLA Embezzlement Total Grows

According to a story at nola.com the embezzlement covered up by ACORN was a lot more than previously reported:

Louisiana's attorney general has broadened the scope of an investigation of ACORN to include a possible embezzlement of $5 million a decade ago within the community organization, five times more than previously reported.

ACORN Chief Executive Officer Bertha Lewis said the new reported amount is "completely false."
Well, Bertha, we've established what you are; now we're just quibbling over the price.

And as long as we're quibbling, I'll put on my language martinet hat a moment. Can people stop using phrases like "five times more"? If $1,000,000 was previously reported, "five times more" would be "$5,000,000 more" than that $1,000,000 for a total of $6,000,000. Even if you don't read it that way, can we agree the "____ times more" construction is at best ambiguous? Just say "five times as much", OK. (And don't get me started on "____ times less"; suffice to say that times and less don't make much sense together).


  1. Lord help me, but I'm starting to feel sorry for Bertha.
    She was just a third tier until both of the Radke brothers got shoved under the bus. Now, she's the face of ACORN when the fit hits the shan.
    But then again,
    Bed... made...
    Chickens... roost...
    Pot... kettle...

    oops, Racist!

  2. Just to be clear, mi amigo, allow me a question.

    Would the phrase, "Greater by a factor of five" be more accurate?

    Paul A.

  3. Would the phrase, "Greater by a factor of five" be more accurate?

    Absolutely, because factors are multiplied.

    I also cringe when sportscasters talk about a team having a "turnover ratio" of "+3" or whatever. A "ratio" is the result of a division, not a subtraction. In that case, "net turnovers", or even "net takeaways" (since "turnover" normally is equated with the loss of possession) would be preferable.


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