The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

odds are long/great Options
lazarius
Posted: Monday, April 15, 2019 10:58:43 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/27/2016
Posts: 429
Neurons: 313,721
Location: Kotel’niki, Moskovskaya, Russia
Which is more natural

1. ... but the odds against are so long that ...
2. ... but the odds against are so great that ...
?

-

Не надо отчаиваться, товарищ.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, April 15, 2019 1:58:55 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 32,600
Neurons: 200,096
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi!

According to the ngram viewer, "great odds" is more common.

However, I am more familiar with 'long odds'.
Both the British and American dictionaries show a specific definition of "long" which concerns probability.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
lazarius
Posted: Monday, April 15, 2019 2:16:04 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/27/2016
Posts: 429
Neurons: 313,721
Location: Kotel’niki, Moskovskaya, Russia
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
However, I am more familiar with 'long odds'.

Thank you!

-

Не надо отчаиваться, товарищ.
lazarius
Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2019 5:52:30 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/27/2016
Posts: 429
Neurons: 313,721
Location: Kotel’niki, Moskovskaya, Russia
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Both the British and American dictionaries show a specific definition of "long" which concerns probability.

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/long

Quote:
5
(of odds or a chance) reflecting or representing a low level of probability.
‘winning against long odds’


If long odds represent a low level of probability then why do they talk about odds against? And if they do then I can probably talk about odds in favour. And then what would the phrase odds in favour are great/long mean? Would they be actually in favour or against?

-

Не надо отчаиваться, товарищ.
thar
Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2019 6:41:41 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 19,691
Neurons: 79,522
You need to separate the odds (the reward if you bet - long, short) from the odds (the probability - low, high).

You can bet that something will happen, or you can bet that it won't happen.
When two people bet against each other, they have to be betting on opposite things.
And if you bet against a bookmaker, you are betting that the horse will win (and you can take their money), and they are betting that the horse will lose (and they can keep your money)

If you bet on a horse winning at 100/1 that is long odds - it is very unlikely to win.
The probability of it not happening is high.
The odds are against that outcome - it is very unlikely to happen.
The odds against it are high.

If you bet on a horse winning at 2/2 or evens, or 2/1 on (ie if you bet £2 you get £3 if you win) that is very short odds - it is more likely to win.
The bookmaker doesn't want your money because he thinks he will have to pay out.
The probability of it happening is high.
The odds in favour of it happening are high.
The probability of it not happening is low.
The odds against it happening are low.

That is why I think you have to be careful where you put the 'great' and what you mean by it.
If you say the odds (what you win vs what you gamble) are 'long' that can only mean one thing - 100/1, 1000/1 - it is very very unlikely to happen.

But 'great' means good, attractive, it gives you what you want.
So 'great odds' are attractive odds, a good likelihood. If the odds (likelihood) are great, it means it is likely to happen. Dancing
lazarius
Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2019 7:51:47 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/27/2016
Posts: 429
Neurons: 313,721
Location: Kotel’niki, Moskovskaya, Russia
thar wrote:
You need to separate the odds (the reward if you bet - long, short) from the odds (the probability - low, high).

Now it makes sense. Thank you.

-

Не надо отчаиваться, товарищ.
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2008-2019 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.