New users: Please register in the usual way and then send an email to jasper(at)jasperfforde.com with your username, and write something 'Ffordesque' so we know you are a real reader, and not some idiot trying to flood the forum with dodgy Nike and Gucci gear. Thank you - Jasper
I'm not so sure on this one. This is language, not maths. The slash is a punctuation mark, not a mathematical sign meaning "divided by". Moreover, the slash is not said, only written. Is "first-thing second-thing ratio" always "first-thing divided by second-thing"? I don't think so. The words investigation and conviction are in logical and chronological order (referring to the actual events they denote), and this order may be preferrable in speaking language, even though the normal mathematical order is lost in the written form. Mr. Fforde could have used a backslash (\) to make it unambiguous, but then a backslash is not a normally accepted punctuation mark. The slash may be the closest punctuation mark to what is meant, but alternatives are welcomed. Would a plain blank be better?
First of all, a ratio means " first thing divided by the second thing" whether a colon, a slash, or the word "to" (probably the best choice in this case) is used.
Second of all, the order only matters if you are going to compare it with someone else's ratio, and even then the first order doesn;t matter and second one just has to match the first.
And third, it could just be that no one really cares either way, and the reporter was just trying to make a point that Jack's record was pretty crappy.