April 16th, 2009

cass, can you not

A problem of scale

Millions of Indians go to polls, notes the BBC.

Which is both true --- as the article explains, there are more than 700 million eligible voters --- and also a subtle indication of that BBC writer or editor being somewhat out of touch. Google claims there are 1,147,995,904 people in India, an absurdly precise but useful number. If the average Indian spends 5 minutes a day thinking about sex (a not unreasonable assumption), then you could go with the following headline at least once a day:

Millions of Indians are thinking about sex RIGHT NOW

Point is, lots of things are being done by millions of Indians today (and millions of Chinese, and millions of lots of other arbitrary groupings of people). Using the word "millions" in a headline like that is like saying that a new laptop comes with MEGABYTES of memory. Well, duh.

I think a better headline would have been Nearly three quarters of a billion Indians go to polls.

/random post is clearly random