Wrong equal pay equation

We gave too little thought to the math of “Equal Pay Day” in our criticism of the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler, concluding in the third-to last paragraph that “Equal Pay Day” in 2014 implied a 27-cent gender pay gap. Performed correctly, the equation shows a gap of about 21 cents.

To correct the item we deleted two grafs. We preserve those grafs below and apologize to any who were misled as a result of our mistake.

So let’s do the math.  Equal Pay Day fell on April 8, 2014.  That’s 98 days into the year.  As a percentage of the entire year, that comes to about 27 percent.  So the president is suggesting a 27-cent gender pay gap between women and men for doing the same work.

And Glenn Kessler thinks this is an improvement?


Correction Feb. 3, 2016: Deleted an extra “the” in the second paragraph. Hat tip to D2E for pointing out the error.


  1. D2E

    “To the correct the item we deleted two grafs. We preserve those grafs below and apologize to any who were misled as a result of our mistake.”

    I find it very hard to trust the information on this site when:
    1) Grammar is difficult to make out
    2) Spelling mistakes of common words

    “Grafs”–> Graphs

    “To the correct the item…” –> “To correct the item…”
    “…and apologize to any who where mislead…” –> “…and apologize to anyone who has been mislead…”

    You should know that I appreciate the work you are trying to do on this site,
    but as a consumer, grammatical errors call into question the professional standards being used.

    1. Bryan W. White (Post author)


      Graf” is a common term in journalism, parallel to journalists who prefer “lede” to “lead.”

      The other examples of grammatical errors are well-taken. Our editor trusts the writer a little too much (perhaps explained by the fact they are typically the same person). And even though our deadlines tend to be soft deadlines, a form of deadline pressure does exist. We thank you for pointing out the mistakes.

      1. D2E

        I’ll post this definition I found online that helps clarify the difference between
        graf/graph. It may be helpful to other readers who do not have a journalistic/media background.
        (Coming from an Engineering,Scientific & Mathematical background, I have never encountered this homophone until now!)

        “Definition: A graf is, in newsroom parlance, the term for a paragraph. The term graf is usually tossed around by editors and is either written on a story or referred to verbally.

        Graf is part of a general editorial short hand that editors at newspapers, magazines and other publications use. For example, an editor might tell you to fix your first graf. An editor might also write out the word “graf” on a story, in reference to a paragraph, so you should know what the term stands for.

        Because the term is slang, it would not be used in a sentence. It would, most often, appear on a draft of a story.”



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