statistic. "Statistic" (= a single term or datum in a statistical compilation) is a back-formation from "statistics" dating from the late 19th century. Today its correctness is beyond challenge. E.g.: o "This statistic is a dramatic turnaround from surveys done as recently as five years ago." Vince Vawter, "Snapshot Shows City Growing in Multiple Ways," Evansville Courier, 5 Oct. 1997, at A20. o "He did not cite the source of that statistic." "Lawyer Asks High Court to Target Police Chase," News & Observer (Raleigh), 10 Dec. 1997, at A10. For information about the Language-Change Index, click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: "Once you have adopted a tone, stick to it. Don't mix styles. If you allow a serious discussion to lapse into colloquialism, you puzzle the reader by an apparent shift of attitude. You must learn the difference between a formal and an informal style." Alan H. Vrooman, Good Writing: An Informal Manual of Style 74 (1966).