Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Bogus 'best of' restaurant list eliciting bogus pats on the back

I recently wrote a post dismantling the latest "best of" list that purports to pick the top restaurant in each of the largest 50 communities in Upstate New York.

The list was riddled with errors and inconsistencies -- not the least of which is that it did not even have an accurate list of which are the 50 largest communities, but that apparently didn't register with everyone in this social media era when items are merely repeated without being verified.

I have seen several congratulatory notes on Facebook referring to restaurants being ranked No. 8 or No. 4 or whatever among Upstate venues. They are wrong. The latest example appears in the Glens Falls Post-Star today which says, "Bistro Tallulah on Ridge Street in downtown Glens Falls was named as the top-ranked restaurant in upstate New York's 50 biggest cities and towns list." That, too, is wrong.

Just like the shaky list it cites, the post is erroneous as are the aforementioned declarations of being No. 8 or whatever number seems to apply. Why? The answer is simple. The list does not declare the top-ranked restaurant or restaurants in Upstate. What it does offer is its opinion on which restaurant is the "best" in each of the 50 communities it cities. And, it does not rank them in any particular overall order.

Conclusion: The way this list is being read by some people is reminiscent of an old parlor game in which a person makes up a sentence, whispers it into the ear of the person sitting next to them who repeats the process to the next person, and so on. Usually, by the time the last person says aloud what has been passed along to them it bears little resemblance to the original message.

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