What Nathan Sterner Really Meant When He Used the Venn Diagram Illustration

So last night, I posted a bunch of miscellaneous thoughts, including my story of how I heard Nathan Sterner misusing the term “Venn diagram” and how that prompted me to donate to the pledge campaign.  Well, somewhere in the middle of the night as I was attempting to rock Mark back to sleep (skin-to-skin didn’t work last night, sadly), I had this sudden thought, “Oh no!  What if there’s an obscure variation of Venn that I don’t know about that actually works with his illustration?  I’d feel terribly silly!”

So this morning, I went back to the Wikipedia entry that I linked to yesterday and read it more thoroughly and discovered two things.

  1. I’m right and Nathan’s wrong when it comes to Venns.
  2. What he was describing is also a graphic organizer! It’s called a Euler diagram.

So I drew up a couple diagrams to help us all understand the issue.

First, a Venn, properly used, to describe WYPR listeners and members:

034 (800x533)

Second, a Euler, to illustrate Nathan’s point:

036 (800x533)

All clear now? 🙂 Class dismissed!

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4 Responses to What Nathan Sterner Really Meant When He Used the Venn Diagram Illustration

  1. Lisa S says:

    Thank you! I’m a listener, not a member, and I wouldn’t have known a Venn diagram. I know what it is, right? Just not that it was called that. Now I know.

  2. And now the difference between a Venn diagram and a Euler diagram has been permanently etched into my mind! 🙂

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