I just saw a commercial on TV. There was a very large “2X more” on the screen, and then the narrator was saying something like (I don’t remember exactly what product they were trying to sell) “Our product does two times more than theirs”. I’ve been seeing this in advertising more and more over the past couple of years, and I’m confused: Does “two times more” mean “double” or “triple”?
From my understanding of mathematics and the English language, “two times more” ought to mean “triple”. I say this for two reasons: (1) “Two times as much” would mean double; “Two times more” therefore means double in addition to the original amount, i.e., triple. (2) “100% more” would mean double. “Two times more” is the same as “200% more”, and therefore means triple.
But if they meant “triple”, why aren’t they saying triple? Triple sounds a lot more impressive than “two times more”, and it takes less time to say.
That’s why I suspect that what they really mean is merely double, but they are trying to say it in a way that sounds impressive, and that this sort of stupidity is evidence of the rampant innumeracy surrounding us.
What say those who’ve been “fighting ignorance since 1973”?