A headline from the website of my old local paper in the UK says "A police operation to curb car crime in Wolverhampton has seen a six-fold reduction in thefts from vehicles" but what exactly is a "six-fold" drop. If there were sixty crimes before is it a drop by one-sixth (to 50) or a drop to one sixth (that is 10) or perhaps a drop that is actually six-fold and six times the original number of crimes are now NOT recorded (a staggering -300 crimes). Mathematics is clearly not the strong suit of editors.
Ask Language Log: “assuage”
2 hours ago