Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Light-weight reporting?

This item is a story saying that the Milky Way is bigger across and more dense than previously "thought" (it's not particularly clear on who thought this; I assume that the writer means "widely accepted by astronomers" - but that's not always the case).

The story contains the following: "More important, it's denser, with 50 percent more mass, which is like weight."

Why not just say mass? Why confuse it with weight, which has a different meaning?
Or if you must explain what mass is, why not take a further sentence to explain it in a way that isn't, well, wrong?

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