99.44% pure

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Dec 23 21:48:36 UTC 2006

The seductiveness of the "99 and 44/100th % pure" statement was a staple in freshman logic texts by the early '80s or so.

  A couple of years back I read of a group of young skeptics, I believe in Belgium, who attempted to commit public mass suicide by glugging homeopathic doses of arsenic.

  There were no casualties. Probably they used too much.


"hpst at earthlink.net" <hpst at EARTHLINK.NET> wrote:
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Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "hpst at earthlink.net"
Subject: Re: 99.44% pure


My friend James "The Amazing" Randi once asked a chemist about the claim on
a homeopathic remedy what x% pure meant.

His friend replied that it meant that if you had a ball of pure water which
extended from the sun to as I recall the orbit of Jupiter only one molecule
of any other substance could exist.

I've done some of the math on this, and Randi's friend was totally correct.

Bullshit is bullshit and if you look at the labels on some homeopathic
remedies their claims are physically impossible.

Page Stephens

> [Original Message]
> From: Alison Murie
> To:
> Date: 12/23/2006 3:50:16 PM
> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] 99.44% pure
> Rummaging in the files, recalled this thread. The "ninety-nine &
> forty-four one hundredths percent pure" claim was was entirely fictional.
> For all practical purposes it was 100% pure, but the other had an
> authoritative ring to it that "100%" had long lost. That *exactitude* was
> simply arbitrarily imposed on the ad campaign. Some P&G adman disclosed
> this many years ago....and the disclosure didn't do them any harm either!
> AM
> ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^
> Market Worship is just a way of Sanctifying Bullying
> ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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