1 Chart That Explains Why People Are Wrong About Venn Diagrams

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Pedantry level: infinite.

1. Most things people call Venn diagrams are not Venn diagrams.

Most things people call Venn diagrams are not Venn diagrams.

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Tom Phillips/BuzzFeed

Lots of them are actually Euler diagrams. A Venn diagram has to show all possible logical relationships between sets, even if they’re not things that exist; an Euler diagram doesn’t.

2. If you want some added explanation, here are more charts than promised in the headline.

If you want some added explanation, here are more charts than promised in the headline.

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Tom Phillips/BuzzFeed

Venn diagrams are (roughly) a very specific type of Euler diagram. For example, a Venn diagram has to show the overlap between two sets, even if there’s nothing in that overlap (shown by shading it in black, as above).

3. While a Euler diagram can just show that they don’t overlap:

While a Euler diagram can just show that they don't overlap:

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Tom Phillips/BuzzFeed

Venn diagrams also have to show every part of every set overlapping with every other at some point, which makes them really messy compared to Euler diagrams.

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Tom Phillips/BuzzFeed/ openclipart.org

5. And of course some things described as “Venn diagrams” aren’t even Euler diagrams. They’re just… circles.

And of course some things described as "Venn diagrams" aren't even Euler diagrams. They're just... circles.

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Tom Phillips/BuzzFeed

LINK

And yes, we're as guilty as anybody.

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Tom Phillips/BuzzFeed

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/tomphillips/also-its-pronounced-oiler

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