argue the statistics


Senior Member

I could, in response to expressions of disbelief and disapproval, argue the statistics: that I was safer on the road in Germany than at a frat party at my college, that my odds of being harmed were so low that I might as well take risks and enjoy them, that I was more likely to get run over by a car, anyways.

(This comes from Tales of a female hitchhiker by Toby Israel on Oct 7, 2013.)

I think a "about" should be added, i.e. argue about the statistics.

Thanks in advance!
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    If someone else first quoted some statistics, you could argue about them, that is disagree with what the other person said. In this sentence, as Barque says, it means to argue using them: you are the first person to quote the statistics. This transitive use of 'argue' is unusual. (We have a couple of common collocations: argue the point, argue the question.)


    Senior Member
    No. They refer to arguing different sides of the point or question. Entangledbank didn't mean that these also imply "using" but just that these collocations are more common than "argue the statistics".
    < Previous | Next >