law of averages and sheer volume

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  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think this is loose writing, Fakmali.

    For instance to give credit to something means to acknowledge something's contribution, but here I suspect the writer means 'lends credence', which means causes people to believe in something.

    I think he probably means that the fact that Schultz's finds more IED's (sheer volume, i.e. numbers) than most of his colleagues might cause people to think that he has great ability. But actually, as the piece goes on to say, Schultz goes out much more often than do his colleagues.

    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    The law of average(s) is a falacy.

    Wikipedia:- 'As invoked in everyday life, the "law" usually reflects bad statistics or wishful thinking rather than any mathematical principle'.


    I hope that it will never be heard out of my mouth or written by my hand.... :D

    Note I copy/pasted 'Tloa'. :cool:


    Senior Member
    Maybe he means the law of large numbers, George. I'm not sure that either of them lends credence to anything here.

    Hi Thomas,

    Many thanks for your help. I have to say that I did not get it again. Could you provide me an easy paraphrase of the phrase in question?

    Thanks in advance.

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'll try, Fakmali, but the English isn't very clear. This is what I think he means:

    S finds more IEDs than his colleagues. This would make one think he was better at finding IEDs than his colleagues, but, in fact, he goes out much more often than his colleagues do.
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