1

Which expression would be better in formal academic writing?

  1. The percentage of incidence is approaching approximately 80%.
  2. The proportion of incidence is approaching approximately 80%.

I believe both ways would be fine, but would like to know any subtle difference in nuance.

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  • 2
    Neither sound idiomatic to me. We don't have the full context, but my guess is you don't want either percentage or proportion, OR the word approximately. And quite possibly incidence isn't a good word for the context. How about X now happens in nearly 80% of [cases under consideration]? Commented Aug 20, 2017 at 14:13
  • 2
    "approaching approximately" sounds like you're deliberately trying to be vague or misleading! Like something from How To Lie With Statistics.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jul 13, 2023 at 10:10
  • Percentage/ratio/proportion confusion
    – ryang
    Commented Mar 10 at 0:48

2 Answers 2

0

There is a small difference, in that when describing percentage, you must give a value out of one hundred. As for proportion, you can say 8 out of 10 times.... or 4 out of 5.

0

Both of these are awkward and redundant.

Say: "The incidence is approximately 80%."

or: "The incidence approaches 80%".

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  • "The incidence (today) is approximately 80%." "The incidence is (in the course of) approaching 80%."
    – ryang
    Commented Mar 10 at 0:45
  • @ryang The first example here makes sense, the second does not. If you were trying to make a point by way of example and not asking if these are grammatical, please reword the second sentence so that it does not use "in the course of".
    – BadZen
    Commented Mar 24 at 20:25
  • Please explain your downvote so that the answer can be improved.
    – BadZen
    Commented Mar 24 at 20:25
  • I commented here rather than immediately under the OP to complement your suggestions, my second suggestion is in the context of approaching an asymptote, and no I didn't downvote your answer.
    – ryang
    Commented Mar 25 at 0:46

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