4 3 4 2 4 4
Before reading on, what’s the average of those six numbers? Roughly. Just by looking at it. Hold it in your head for a minute while you read on.
The Guardian used to be nicknamed the Grauniad due to its propensity to misspell words, particularly in headlines and bold text. But having tightened up on the use of the spell checker and raised their game in the English department, their maths skills are now lacking. (To avoid hypocrisy, I’ve spell checked this post to death!)
This morning’s G2 magazine features a handy review of reviews table on page 29, summarising the views of various daily and Sunday newspapers on recent films, plays, and TV programmes.
It’s a simple matrix, with the newspapers across the top, and the shows down the left hand side. They even translate the different papers’ marking schemes (stars out of five, must-see to avoid-like-the-plague ratings) into a simple marks-out-of-ten to make them comparable.
The crunch comes with the averaging.
- Factory Girl (which premiered in London last week) gets 3 3 4 6 7 3 4 and an overall average of 4. Seems ok.
- Premonition (starring Sandra Bullock, and universally rubbished) gets 1 1 1 2 1 6 2 and an average of 2. Looks about right.
- Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus gets 4 3 4 2 4 4, which according to my abacus averages out at 3½, but I’d forgive someone rounding it up to 4. And the overall mark published in the Guardian? 6! Turns out that a “Guardian average” isn’t very meaningful. A bit too above average.
Time to send the review of reviews compiler over to the Grauniad’s Tuesday education supplement for some remedial maths lessons. And expect a correction from the readers’ editor real soon.