社會上吹牛的故事很多，誤用的數據也不少。有時候，以幽默的方式談些數字或文字，可博君一笑。前兩年我在美航的飛機上，空姐對一般旅客並沒有任何表示，唯獨對一位體重極端超重、舉步維艱的旅客說：「You look good！」原來 good 可以有如此不同的解讀方式，這是有條件的。
Boasting, misusing, fakery
Can pleasure be derived from boasting? Is inaccuracy responsible for bungling matters? Is it acceptable to harm people by twisting the truth?
For instance, quantitative and qualitative statistics are constantly misused, intentionally or otherwise, and frequently manipulated for malevolent reasons. It is common to find the same data interpreted in different ways in different jobs for different reasons, which is why it is always advisable to have professionals check over numbers, figures and statistics.
The golden rule? Refrain from meddling with numbers, figures and statistics if you are unfamiliar with that particular profession, or situations related to that profession.
Similarly, facts can be "massaged" for different reasons. Here's an example. During a flight on a US airline a couple of years ago, one of the flight attendants seemed indifferent to most of the passengers but showed particular interest in one extremely overweight traveler who had mobility problems.
The flight attendant said to this passenger, "You look good!" But the use of "good" here is open to interpretations in this context, wouldn't you say?
Some people use numbers as adjectives in a misleading way; others simply "talk big" by misusing statistics, which is laughable and rather disagreeable if they don't understand how statistics work!
Of course, there will always be "bad apples" who take advantage of statistics to cook up stories that hurt others, which is intolerable.
So I would like to share with readers what I have seen or heard or experienced with regard to boasting, misusing and twisting the truth, on an irregular basis.
January 20, 2014