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Don't say "50 percent lower than..," say "50 percent of.."

Don't say that: 

50 percent lower than..
50% less than...

Do say this: 

50 percent of..


There is a long standing adage in mathematics that "of means multiply."

Therefore "50% of" of something means to multiply it by 50% - the result being 1/2 or half. In decimals, it makes even more sense because one would multiply something by 0.5 to get 50% of it.

To say "50% less" is therefore to express what is, in effect a derivative form of the information that you want to impart.

It is an unnecessary complication: good communication is about clarity and it makes far more sense to simply say "half of" rather than become involved in percentages.

To say "50% less than...", whilst it has become fashionable, is clumsy and, again, adds complication that no one needs. It is also, arguably, a nonsense because if , for example, a price is 50% of the original it is unquestionably 50% less.



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