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Is Mathematical pedanticism allowed in here?

(86 Posts)
CouldIBEAnyMoreChaotic Mon 05-Sep-11 21:13:38

"Out of every £5 you spend £1 goes to the government."

Erm, no.

(Seen on a leaflet justifying price-hikes at a Cafe today.)


CouldIBEAnyMoreChaotic Mon 05-Sep-11 21:14:06


VictorianIce Mon 05-Sep-11 21:43:29

I like non-grammatical pedantry. Can we have more please?

You may need to explain it to educate me help some people understand your point.

TrillianAstra Mon 05-Sep-11 21:51:39

I'm guessing they were trying to explain what 20% VAT meant?

TrillianAstra Mon 05-Sep-11 22:15:36

Come on... what exactly is up?

SandStorm Mon 05-Sep-11 22:17:54

£1 is 20% of £5. Is that the point?

TrillianAstra Mon 05-Sep-11 22:21:05

I suppose the shop probably pays other taxes as well as VAT so more than that £1 goes to the government.

LovelyCuppa Mon 05-Sep-11 22:24:53

I get it. VAT is 20%. So, a £5 purchase incurs VAT at 20% which is £1 or £5 + £1. Therefore the correct wording is that out of every £6 you spend £1 goes to the government (and then gets shared back to all of us via public services) <socialist emoticon>

SandStorm Mon 05-Sep-11 22:29:48

Not quite I don't think.

If VAT is charged at 20% and you buy a book (for example) costing £6, the VAT on that book is £1.20. You don't pay £7.20 for the book in order to pay the VAT. The VAT is calculated on the base price of the goods eg. £5/£1 £6/£1.20 £7.20/£1.44 etc.

I think.

HerdOfTinyElephants Mon 05-Sep-11 22:31:57

Exactly. Or "out of every £5 you spend 83.3 (recurring) pence goes to the government". But that's not exactly catchy.

NormaStanleyFletcher Mon 05-Sep-11 22:34:28

Oh - mathematical pedantry - me likee.

<<really must go and finish system design doc - damn you mumsnet>>

Oakmaiden Mon 05-Sep-11 22:34:48

Is this the right place to tell a maths joke?

There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary and those who don't.

Ahem. As you were.

NormaStanleyFletcher Mon 05-Sep-11 22:36:19

Oakmaiden grin

WhatsWrongWithYou Mon 05-Sep-11 22:36:32

I came across one of these on my first foray into the Khan Academy - online educational resource started by an American city banker to help his extended family members with basic maths.

He describes basic multiplication thus: '2x2 is 2 added to itself 2 times' - wtf? Surely that's 6?! Goes on to describe every number this way - well, I presume he does because had to switch off by the time he got to 4.
DH has the numbers brain in this house, and it offended him too.

Also, is there such a word as 'memorisation?'

Oakmaiden Mon 05-Sep-11 22:39:54

I quite like this one too:

An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first one orders a pint of beer. The second orders half a pint of beer. The third orders a quarter of a pint of beer. The bartender says, 'You're all idiots', and pours two pints of beer.

I loved doing my maths module at uni last year. grin

LovelyCuppa Mon 05-Sep-11 22:40:28

No I do get it. I checked. I just worded it badly in the first bit. The therefore is right grin

senua Mon 05-Sep-11 22:41:32

Nice try, sandstorm. Except that the rate of VAT on books is 0%.

grin @ oakmaiden.

ChippingIn Mon 05-Sep-11 22:43:33

Anything over 100% does not exist - you cannot give 110<fucking>%

SandStorm Mon 05-Sep-11 22:48:29

It was an example Senua - I have NO idea about VAT rates smile

CouldIBEAnyMoreChaotic Mon 05-Sep-11 22:48:39

Soory yes.

When you hand over a fiver, you are actually handing over 120% of the goods/service cost to the retailer, who then passes on 20% for you (gee thanks) to the Government.

So, actually when you buy something for £5, you are paying £4.17ish for the product and they are collecting 83.3pish in VAT. (As detailed by HerdOfTiny).

If you buy something for £6, then £5 is for the goods/service and £1 VAT collected for the Goverment.

Also as a mishmash of pedanticism:

Is "Save up to Half Price" actually correct?

Surely up to half price indicates a price smaller than half price?


And how the pythagorasfuck can you save a price?


As yer wer.

Oakmaiden Mon 05-Sep-11 22:49:27

That is not entirely true, Chipping. Anything which can be counted can be exceeded, and thus can be 110%.

I currently travel 100 miles a week, but when the road changes are brought in I will have to travel further, so my total distance travelled will be 110% of my current travel.

But it is a silly linguistic device to talk about 110% effort or whatever - since effort is not something which can be considered numerically really.

Unless you are talking about comparing amounts of effort. X normally works this hard, but on a certain occasion put in 110% of her normal effort....

LovelyCuppa Mon 05-Sep-11 22:49:32

Oooh yes ChippingIn that is very annoying.

NormaStanleyFletcher Mon 05-Sep-11 22:51:27

I am currently working 120% of my contracted hours

<<points to design document>>

theyoungvisiter Mon 05-Sep-11 22:55:47

oooooooooo I love a good bit of mathematical pedantry. The radio show More or Less is vg for that.

Superb example OP. It doesn't sound quite as catchy to say "Out of every £5 you spend, 83p goes to the government" does it? grin

oldenoughtowearpurple Mon 05-Sep-11 22:58:29

I am so glad I read this thread as it has doubled my stock of maths jokes (I already knew the binary one). Are there any more?

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