# What is the minimum number of things needed to declare you have a variety? [closed]

When people say things like "we have a wide variety of products" or "product x can run in a variety of modes", what is the lowest number of modes or products which one can comfortably call a variety? Is having 2 things, a red and blue widget say, a satisfactory quantity to call "a variety of widgets" ? If not a simple number, perhaps it would be the level of differences between the things? I could safely declare a variety of widgets (red and blue) but not a variety of products (I just have widgets). Thoughts?

Apologies if this is not really "mathematics" but you folk seem to be the perfect group and this sort of comes down to sets perhaps.

## closed as off-topic by Arthur, lioness99a, Namaste, pwerth, Eric WofseyJan 25 at 21:42

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

• "This question is not about mathematics, within the scope defined in the help center." – Arthur, lioness99a, Namaste, pwerth, Eric Wofsey
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

• It's a language thing (and a marketing thing), not a mathematics thing. Marketers are (depending on country) allowed to say basically whatever they want. Especially when using vague words like "variety" and "many". So without reading minds, there is no way to know what they mean when they say it. Nor is it possible to tell whether they mean what they say. – Arthur Jan 25 at 12:25
• This is maybe a question for "English Language and Usage". – Mark S. Jan 25 at 13:19
• @Arthur - I am sure they don't mean what they say....marketeers that is :) – Jon Holland Jan 25 at 13:26
• This is clearly related to the Sorites paradox. – Somos Jan 25 at 14:47
• @Somos Ah yes I have also been considering (another marketing term) the use of "heaps of..." in descriptions and wondering what one could call a heap ... and when it doesn't conform to that description. The Sorites paradox is very interesting - thanks – Jon Holland Jan 28 at 9:34

The mathematical approach would be to recognise that "wide variety" isn't well defined and either avoid it or say something like "For the purposes of this problem, I will treat a wide variety of $$x$$ as meaning . . . " and proceed to define it in whatever way suits the problem at hand.