# “If you have a minimum of 18 years” - What's the mathematical meaning? [closed]

I heard following ad on the radio: "We are hiring. If you have a minimum of 18 years you may send your resume to this address".

I know what the ad was trying to communicate (e.g., "people with 18 years or more can send a resume"), but in my opinion, logically and mathematically speaking, when you say "if you have a minimum of 18 years" you are saying that you only accept people with exactly 18 years.

That's because the minimum and maximum values of the age of a person are the exact age of that person. If a person has 20 years, for example, she has a minimum of 20 years. Similarly if a person has 30 years, she has a minimum of 30 years (and a maximum of 30 as well).

My friends don't agree with me, though, and they argue that by saying "if you have a minimum of 18 years" you are saying you want anyone with 18 or more years.

The argument was so heated that we decided to seek help from the experts here on SE.

So which one is right?

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Your friends are right. But this is a question of English usage, not of mathematical fact. (And in most varieties of U.S. English you wouldnâ€™t speak of having a number of years at all.) –  Brian M. Scott Oct 22 '12 at 18:50
The ad is not in idiomatic english, so there is no point in arguing, let alone heatedly. –  André Nicolas Oct 22 '12 at 18:51
The ad/debate was in Portuguese. I know it's not idiomatic English, I just tried to translate reflecting the meanings of the original language. –  DanielS Oct 22 '12 at 18:52
In English, it might say "if you are at least 18..." and the meaning would be clear. –  The Chaz 2.0 Oct 22 '12 at 18:56