Great Moments in "Directionally Correct" History

This morning on CNBC we were arguing about the blame to be accorded web traffic service Comscore in investors collectively leaning the wrong way on Google’s earnings last night. After all, Comscore had tipped paid-click growth declining to 2%, which would have smoked Google’s results on the quarter, but didn’t happen. Instead, U.S. paid clicks fell to something like 9%.

I scoffed at that performance, suggesting that Comscore plain whiffed here. An analyst against whom I was put on-air said that we should go easier on Comscore, after all it was "directionally correct".

Directionally correct? Directionally correct? An undergraduate economist emerging from decade-long stasis an hour before the Google earnings call could have told you that a slowing U.S. economy would cause some slowing in paid clicks. Letting Comscore off the hook for being way, way off about U.S. paid clicks but being "directionally correct" is a joke, like getting busted for speeding in a school zone, and saying you might be over the limit, but at you had slowed down and were "directionally correct".

Anyone think of other great moments in the history of being "directionally correct"? I’m thinking of explorer La Salle landing in Texas instead of the Mississippi delta, or maybe when he sailed from there aiming for Canada, got lost, ended up back in Gulf of Mexico, and his crew murdered him. That sort of thing.

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