Statement Analysis®

Ozzy Osbourne and the death of Randy Rhoads

This month I read an article on the death of Randy Rhoads. Rhoads was a young virtuoso guitarist who played in Ozzy Osbourne's band from 1979 - 1982. Rhoads helped write Osbourne's hit song "Crazy Train." Rhoads died in 1982 when a single engine plane in which he was a passenger crashed during a joyride. Osbourne was on the ground near the accident site. In recalling what happened that day, Osbourne said he was upset because he believed it took too long for emergency services to arrive.

"I found it very difficult to get assistance from anyone to help...One small fire engine arrived, which appeared to squirt three gallons of water over the inferno."

Common sense tells us that even the smallest fire truck will hold more than three gallons of water. A typical truck holds 400 to 500 gallons. So why did Osbourne use the low number three? When people do not know the exact number, they will often use the number three or a number that begins with three. They are not being deceptive. They just don't know the exact number. We see this is the case in Osbourne's statement when he used the word "appeared." The use of the number three means we cannot believe it to be an accurate number. Therefore, we would want to ask a few more questions in an effort to determine if it is the correct number or if it is an estimation.

See the February 2018 analysis for a different take on the use of the number three.

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