Textbook speak

I just ran across the following problem in a business math textbook:

"Joe, at age 35, decides to invest in a retirement account. He will put aide $2000 per year for the next 30 years. How much will he have at age 65 if his rate of return is assumed to be 10% per year?"

Don't you love that "assumed to be"? It is:

1) Completely unnecessary. The authors could have just said "if his rate of return is 10% per year."

2) And it makes the answer indeterminate. Assuming a rate of return of i% doesn't make Joe anything! Only if his rate of return is i% will he make money!

2 comments:

  1. It's because of language nitpickers like you that we have the Verbal section in the SATs...

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    1. The thing is, no one would normally speak this way. People say to their friend, "What would you do if your salary was a million dollars a year?" They would never say, "What would you do if you salary were assumed to be a million dollars a year?"

      This is an effort to "talk fancy."

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