Yesterday on the TV news, I heard this statement, in connection to a recent death on a cruise line. The speaker was discussing the risks of cruise travel in general, and the footage was stock footage of various cruise boats.
“What people don’t realize is, of course, is…. it happens more often than not.”
More often than not? Oh, my god– I am so glad I survived my 3-day cruise in Ensenada, then! The phrase “More often than not” indicates that something happens more often than it does not happen. So, more than 50% of the time, that thing happens.
Thus, according to the speaker, who was clearly not thinking while his mouth was flapping, more than 50% of cruises (or perhaps, more than 50% of cruisers!) will result in a death by someone falling overboard.
Now that I think of it, there was an emergency on board our cruise– someone had an existing medical condition that required them to be picked up by the Coast Guard and returned to shore for medical treatment. But they didn’t die, and they rejoined the cruise later that day.
Here’s a tip for writers, commentators, and in general anyone who doesn’t want to look or sound like an idiot: Know what’s going to come out before you open your mouth.
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