One interesting Romneycampaign tic is to use “numerous” to mean two. Examples of this abuse of “numerous” follow.
1. “After extensive hearings the bipartisan [Massachusetts] Ballot Law Commission came to the same conclusion as numerous independent fact checkers in finding that Mitt Romney ended his active employment with Bain Capital in 1999.”
The numerous fact checkers are Glenn Kessler (who has since changed his mind to a least neutral) and someone at Annenberg Fact Check.
2. “The negative effect of the administration’s ‘stimulus’ policies has been documented in a number of empirical studies.” They then quote from two studies. The first looks at a minor aspect of the stimulus packages, the Cash for Clunkers attempt to bring forward car purchases. There are other studies of this programme which are more favourable. The second study is co-authored by John Taylor, and others have interpreted his findings differently.
2 is indeed a number. So are 1 and 0. In this case the correct formulation is “we cite economists other than ourselves and find ZERO “empirical studies” which document “the negative effect of the administration’s ‘stimulus’ policies”
But in any case, calling two “a number” is cheating.
3. Is the title of this post another example ?
Please deal with logical paradoxes in comments.