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  #2527581 23-Jul-2020 09:44
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Rikkitic:

 

MikeB4:

 

This explains it well.

 

 

I get that part. My complaint is about the way the  media brainlessly bandy the term about. I agree with the hydrologists at the beginning of your example. The 'once in 100 years' reference just confuses most people. Keep the technical jargon for the experts and use plain language for everyone else. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember the copy and paste journalists are looking for the "cool story Bro" 😀





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  #2527584 23-Jul-2020 09:59
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The strange (to my ear at least) way in which people are often referred to in newspaper articles.

 

 

 

One recent example was "Hutt woman Amanda Smith" (names all changed) rather than  "Amanda Smith from Lower Hutt".  "Hutt woman" sounds like a sort of species, not a domicile. She was then referred to as "Smith" throughout the remainder of the article rather than the more polite "Mrs/Miss/Ms Smith". It makes it sound like they are school teachers referring to a pupil.

 

 

 

Then a different but similar example.

 

 

 

"Dave Smith and his wife, Diane Smith-Lennox" later referred to as "Dave and Smith-Lennox" rather than "Dave and his wife", "Dave and Diane", "the couple" etc

 

 

 

It is so jarring and lacking in finesse, as well as simple written courtesy.






 
 
 
 


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  #2527601 23-Jul-2020 10:14
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Rikkitic:I get that part. My complaint is about the way the  media brainlessly bandy the term about. I agree with the hydrologists at the beginning of your example. The 'once in 100 years' reference just confuses most people. Keep the technical jargon for the experts and use plain language for everyone else. 

 

 

 

Or people using the phrase "third world ...." when talking about NZ's road conditions, housing, poverty etc.

 

95% of them probably have never been or seen third world conditions to remotely compare.


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  #2527655 23-Jul-2020 10:48
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clevedon:

 

Rikkitic:I get that part. My complaint is about the way the  media brainlessly bandy the term about. I agree with the hydrologists at the beginning of your example. The 'once in 100 years' reference just confuses most people. Keep the technical jargon for the experts and use plain language for everyone else. 

 

 

 

Or people using the phrase "third world ...." when talking about NZ's road conditions, housing, poverty etc.

 

95% of them probably have never been or seen third world conditions to remotely compare.

 

 

 

 

I have, many times. And driven on roads in third world countries that are actually better than many NZ roads - as well as many that are worse! Also the quality is not the only comparable - the quantity is also one. For example, we have no intercity motorways - and arguably the few motorways we have are by first world standards actually just dual carriageways because the speed limits are no greater than the normal national limit, whereas a usual feature of a motorway is a higher speed limit.

 

To be comparable to what we like to be compared to, we need a 120kmh limit 6 lane motorway between Auckland and Wellington and another between Blenheim and Christchurch. I can only wonder at the tedium of being a truck driver in NZ - it must take forever to get a single load from one end of NZ to the other which all adds up to extra cost of delivery and extra sale price for us.

 

It is 640 km or so between Auckland and Wellington. A proper motorway would cut that trip from 8 hours to 5.5, saving 2.5 hours per car trip and making driving a realistic alternative to flying.

 

It would have to be a toll road but it would certainly be worth paying at least $50 each way given the time saved.






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  #2527662 23-Jul-2020 11:08
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Rikkitic:

 

The 'once in 100 years' reference just confuses most people. Keep the technical jargon for the experts and use plain language for everyone else. 

 

 

So what language would you use? A quite unlikely event? A really unlikely event? A "1% probability event" is already more jargonistic than a "one in every hundred years event".

 

NB the difference between "one in a hundred years" and "once in a hundred years". The first expresses a probability (one out of every hundred years) whereas the other expresses a certainty (exactly once in each century, although exactly which year is uncertain).

 

 


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  #2527673 23-Jul-2020 11:30
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How about just 'rare'? People see once in a hundred years and they think it means just that. It is illogical and confusing. A  storm or flood or whatever can be presented as rare or unusual, with additional descriptive text as needed. Talking about a 100-year flood creates an impression that it can't happen again in our lifetime so glad we got that one out of the way. Then when it happens again the following year, there is anger and despair, not to mention disillusionment with the experts.

 

 

 

 





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  #2527676 23-Jul-2020 11:40
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frankv:

 

Rikkitic:

 

The 'once in 100 years' reference just confuses most people. Keep the technical jargon for the experts and use plain language for everyone else. 

 

 

So what language would you use? A quite unlikely event? A really unlikely event? A "1% probability event" is already more jargonistic than a "one in every hundred years event".

 

NB the difference between "one in a hundred years" and "once in a hundred years". The first expresses a probability (one out of every hundred years) whereas the other expresses a certainty (exactly once in each century, although exactly which year is uncertain).

 

 

 

 

I'd say something like, "Rare weather event, which appears to be becoming more frequent" or similar...





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  #2527726 23-Jul-2020 12:28
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But if it is happening more often when is it no longer rare? The term is correct when describing weather events such as the Northland event. Do we want accurate reporting or dumbed down reporting. Reader misinterpretation is not a reason to change the correct wording.





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  #2527727 23-Jul-2020 12:31
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MikeB4:

 

But if it is happening more often when is it no longer rare? The term is correct when describing weather events such as the Northland event. Do we want accurate reporting or dumbed down reporting. Reader misinterpretation is not a reason to change the correct wording.

 

But isn't it then "Extreme weather event"? And then eventually just "Weather"? 

 

 

 

 





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  #2527728 23-Jul-2020 12:36
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Handsomedan:

 

But isn't it then "Extreme weather event"? And then eventually just "Weather"? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or 'climate change folks we are screwed again event'😀





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  #2527808 23-Jul-2020 14:24
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Handsomedan:

I'd say something like, "Rare weather event, which appears to be becoming more frequent" or similar...

 

 

Then you've joined the MetService in (mis-)communicating good, hard data in a manner that renders it almost completely useless. Consider the standard "chance of showers". This is utterly useless information, there's always going to be a chance of showers, the middle of the Sahara has a chance of showers, just not a very high one. In contrast if you say "80% chance of rain, 8mm" vs. "40% chance of rain, 0.5mm" then people can react appropriately. The means of communicating weather information was heavily analysed when weather services overseas made the change, both the perceived accuracy and usefulness of the weather forecast when presented like that jumped dramatically.

 

 

"Rare" works for coin and stamp grading where it has a very defined meaning, but it's meaningless for weather.

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  #2527815 23-Jul-2020 14:42
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neb: Then you've joined the MetService in (mis-)communicating good, hard data in a manner that renders it almost completely useless. Consider the standard "chance of showers". This is utterly useless information, there's always going to be a chance of showers, the middle of the Sahara has a chance of showers, just not a very high one. In contrast if you say "80% chance of rain, 8mm" vs. "40% chance of rain, 0.5mm" then people can react appropriately. The means of communicating weather information was heavily analysed when weather services overseas made the change, both the perceived accuracy and usefulness of the weather forecast when presented like that jumped dramatically. "Rare" works for coin and stamp grading where it has a very defined meaning, but it's meaningless for weather.

 

 

 

You've confused me. You say that fluffy words like 'rare' should not be used but then also imply that 'once in 500 years' doesn't come across as good hard data in the same way as '20% chance'.

 

As far as I can see from general reporting, there's a wide mis-understanding about statistics and probability in the public which doesn't help.  It took a while but I found the original Metservice quote which you'll see has been re-worded for the snappy tag line.

 

 

So to put that in perspective, that kind of event – getting 220mm of rain overnight - it has a return period of more than 500 years. So we're expecting that once in 500 years.

 

 

We're expecting it once in 500 years, but it could be more often than that.

 

Edit: tags.


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  #2527820 23-Jul-2020 14:57
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I am expecting to die one day, but it could happen tomorrow. It is a once in a lifetime event.

 

 





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  #2527837 23-Jul-2020 15:48
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Rikkitic:

 

I am expecting to die one day, but it could happen tomorrow. It is a once in a lifetime event.

 

 

 

Or in many rockstars' experience a multiple times in a lifetime event...think Nikki Sixx, Slash et al. 





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  #2527842 23-Jul-2020 16:03
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Compared to Android, built-in VPN protocols support in Chrome OS is appalling. I can connect back home to my router's built-in VPN (IPSec Xauth PSK) using a phone but can't using a Chromebook.





 

 

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