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Size down, dumb down?

I saw the new tabloid size Independent sitting next to its big twin on Wednesday. The headline story on both was the earthquake in Morocco. The big paper said "562 killed" and the small one said "560 killed". Hmmm.

Perhaps the small one is published fractionally before the big one, but I prefer to think that the editors of the tabloid edition subconsciously doubt their readers' ability to deal with numbers accurate to more than two significant figures. Or maybe they think reducing all the numbers will help keep the size of the paper down...

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