Just a coincidence

October 29, 2009

Stuart Lynn told some of us at lunchtime about a rather extra-odinary letter written recently by the California Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Its a letter to a Democratic Assemblyman written in oddly convoluted language. If you trace the initial letters of each line, you get the secret message : F – U – C – K – Y – O – U. Stuart gave us a web link.

You can read about this matter on the Huffington Post, where a spokesperson expresses surprise, because clearly it was a coincidence… There are about six million other postings on this story, but I see that this article at the SF weekly consults a Math Professor in order to quantify the unlikelihood. On the basis that the letters concerned are at the beginning of a word about 10% of the time, said Prof states that the probability of this combination of letters happening by chance is one in ten million. (Ten to the power seven).

So, members of the Statistics 101 class, discuss.