The way we process information
Dr Peter Rhee, speaking at the press conference on the Gabby Giffords shooting said
We received ten patients, of whom one died. Five patients are in critical condition, and five are in surgery.The CNN anchor - and my friend - both thought something was wrong. "That's more than ten," said my friend, and the anchor said, "That's eleven - obviously he wasn't counting the one who died."
I find that fascinating, because I didn't have that reaction. To me it was clear that the two groups of five weren't mutually exclusive. Someone (or more) who was in surgery was also in critical condition. But obviously others felt that he had to be reporting separate categories, with no overlap, and they found themselves trying to reconcile 1 + 5 + 5 = 10.