Lies damn lies and statistics

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

lies damn lies and statistics

Link to History of Statistics pages. Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics. A few years ago I thought that I had successfully tied down the origin of this quotation.

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Benjamin Disraeli. Sign Up. My Account. Privacy Settings. Please enable Javascript This site requires Javascript to function properly, please enable it. There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

This saying has a literal meaning. It suggests that statisyics can be used to mislead even more than the worst form of untruth. The source for this view is the autobiography of Mark Twain, where he makes that attribution. Nevertheless, no version of this quotation has been found in any of Disraeli's published works or letters. An early reference to the expression, which may explain Twain's assertion is found in a speech made by Leonard H. Courtney, , later Lord Courtney, in New York in There's no indication that by 'Wise Statesman' Courtney was referring to any specific person, although it may be that Twain thought that he meant Disraeli.

This well-known saying is part of a phrase often attributed to Benjamin Disraeli and popularized in the U. Numbers and formulas are supposed to represent "objective scientific data" you cannot deny which have been examined by intelligent and experienced experts.
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It is also sometimes colloquially used to doubt statistics used to prove an opponent's point. The phrase was popularized in the United States by Mark Twain among others , who attributed it to the British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli : "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. Several other people have been listed as originators of the quote, and it is often erroneously attributed to Twain himself. Courtney , who used the phrase in and two years later became president of the Royal Statistical Society. Courtney is quoted by Baines as attributing the phrase to a "wise statesman", [4] but he may have been referring to a future statesman rather than a past one. The earliest instance of the phrase found in print dates to a letter written in the British newspaper National Observer on June 8, , published June 13, , p.

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Lies, damned lies, and statistics

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Who said there are 'lies, damned lies and statistics'?

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5 thoughts on “Lies damn lies and statistics

  1. "Lies, damned lies, and statistics" is a phrase describing the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments. It is also.

  2. It is also sometimes colloquially used to doubt statistics used to prove an opponent's point.

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