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I'm looking for a single word or short phrase that can describe any numbers or statistics that have very little practical value, and are useful only to the extent of "hey look, a number!"

Here's an example from this quite amusing page:

People at 4:53AM on Monday stayed longer on the site than at 11:36AM

(The images on that page also capture the feeling that I'm trying to find a word for.)

Some other examples:

You have sat down in this chair 1638 times

You have pressed the "x" key 973 times

The most common RGB value in this image is (14, 201, 58)

The percentage of users of english.SE who have viewed this question is 0.0013%

What's a word or phrase for a number or statistic that is only useful for trivia or amusement?

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    Since we're making up words, how about 'arithmorrhea' (like 'logorrhea') or 'numbrage' (like 'umbrage')?
    – Mitch
    Dec 25, 2014 at 15:03
  • You can consider garbage through computer jargon. (inaccurate or useless data [MW])
    – ermanen
    Dec 25, 2014 at 17:47
  • Redundancy comes to mind also. (The use of words or data that could be omitted without loss of meaning or function; repetition or superfluity of information. [OD])
    – ermanen
    Dec 25, 2014 at 17:51
  • Kids these days call them 'achievements', I'd call it noise. +1 for numbrage.
    – Mazura
    Dec 26, 2014 at 4:05
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    What's wrong with trivia?
    – Jim
    Dec 26, 2014 at 5:04

3 Answers 3

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There's factoid, defined at merriam-webster.com as:

2: a briefly stated and usually trivial fact

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  • Or non-fact. Nobody does factoid-checking. Jun 7, 2022 at 21:57
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I was reading through this LONG after the original question. But it stands to reason that you could include an adjective rather than a verb or noun with a ton of depth.

So like, academically, "the correlation is 'specious' at best" and I've also read "the conclusions are resulting from spurious correlations between the desired result, and the data collection methodology"

I think you can REALLY load up an academically underhanded phrase. But to be pithy and brief, I stand by specious. It is a general word and not deeply tied to statistics, so it won't immediately seem as some kind of pious condescension. But rather, something they will need to truly mull over if they had any intent on listening to you at all in the first place.

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Most of the numbers you cited are what one could call "arbitrary". That is, they were made up (or might as well have been. Pulled out of a hat, as it were.) Many of them could also be described as "meaningless". Or you might say they are simply "placeholders" (in lieu of realistic data.) If you know they are inaccurate, you could call them "bogus".

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