4timesless I’ve seen a few instances where instead of writing “you’ll use 1/4 the amount” the ad states “4 times less.” This practice may be getting more common, but it’s bad math and ambiguous English. Say, for example, I have 4 slices of pizza. You have one. When using addition or subtraction for a comparison, I have 3 more slices than you, and surly, you have 3 fewer. Multiplying doesn’t work the same, I have 4 times the pizza you do, and you have one fourth as many as I. To say you have four times fewer makes no sense.

Do you have any similar examples? Send them in. Just hit “submit an example” above.


BudgetPieChartThis image appeared on line without attribution. It’s been reposted so many times, it’s tough to say, but it’s probably from a college. One would imagine there’s a second set of eyes reviewing such things. As time goes on, we’ll start to categorize the nature of these errors. Indeed 20 is 1/3 of 60, but the full pie chart is 80 (million). We’ll file this under fractions.