[R] [OT] vernacular names for circular diagrams

Jim Lemon jim at bitwrit.com.au
Tue Jan 29 12:16:55 CET 2008

Rolf Turner wrote:
> ...
> I have been for many years under the impression that the pie chart
> was invented by Florence Nightingale.  Am I misinformed?
Hi Rolf,

Yes, you have been misled. Dear old Florence invented a related 
illustration now usually referred to as a "polar area diagram". It was 
an ingenious way of representing quantities as areas, but probably had 
to be explained at length to those subjected to it. The principal 
advantage of the pie chart is that most people think they understand it 
upon seeing it, even if they don't. As is common in human affairs, even 
the illusion of understanding is preferred to a lofty digression upon 
why the audience does not understand.


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