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rule of thumb

As a rule of thumb, we estimate that employees cost 150% of their hourly wage.
  a simple procedure used to approximating a value or make a good decision
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rule of thumb rule-of-thumb rules of thumb rules-of-thumb
from Wikipedia:

A rule of thumb is a principle with broad application that is not intended to be strictly accurate or reliable for every situation. It is an easily learned and easily applied procedure for approximately calculating or recalling some value, or for making some determination. Compare this to heuristic, a similar concept used in mathematical discourse, psychology and computer science, particularly in algorithm design. See also mnemonic.  (retrieved 9/25/08)
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  • As a rule of thumb, we estimate that employees cost 150% of their hourly wage.
  • As a first rule of thumb, therefore, you can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil.
    Tim O’Brien  --  The Things They Carried
  • Here are a few rules of thumb: A. Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognizeasfood.
    Michael Pollan  --  The Omnivore’s Dilemma
  • Is there a simple rule of thumb that distinguishes a group with real social social authority from a group with little power at all?
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  The Tipping Point

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  • It was Farmer’s rule of thumb.
    Tracy Kidder  --  Mountains Beyond Mountains
  • I didn’t know who they were or who they worked for, but a good general rule of thumb is to avoid people with electric stun guns.
    James Patterson  --  School’s Out - Forever
  • Otherwise the rule of thumb is fifty-fifty on the earnings from the book after the costs are paid.
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl Who Played with Fire
  • The bug offered a substantial break: The rule of thumb is that every two to three pounds slows a horse by a length in racing’s middle distances of amile to a mile and a quarter, while in longer races every pound slows a horse by one length.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Seabiscuit
  • …deceive, not only the worthy Mrs. Moodie, who like many high-minded females of her type, is inclined to believe any piece of theatrical twaddle served up to her, provided it is pathetic enough, and whose inaccurate and hysterical account of the whole sad affair you have no doubt read; but also several of my own colleagues, this latter being an outstanding example of the old rule of thumb, that when a handsome woman walks in through the door, good judgment flies out through the window.
    Margaret Atwood  --  Alias Grace
  • He was struggling not to allow into his mind the thought that was pressing against its periphery: What were the chances and how long would it take-according to the mathematical theory of probability-for primitive men, working by rule-of-thumb, to hit the right combination of parts and re-create the motor of this engine?
    Ayn Rand  --  Atlas Shrugged

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  • Grammar of my life: as a rule of thumb, wherever there appears a plural, correct for singular.
    Nicole Krauss  --  The History of Love
  • In all my adventures among hundreds of Americans I have discovered that the rule of thumb does not work.
    Jay Allison, et al.  --  This I Believe
  • It borrows from it devices, tricks, stratagems, rules of thumb, themes, converts them into a system, and discards the rest.
    Clement Greenberg  --  Avant-garde and Kitsch
  • We learned to tell the workers from the warriors — if you had time, you could tell from the shape of the carapace, but the quick rule of thumb was: If he comes at you, he’s a warrior; if he runs, you can turn your back on him.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  Starship Troopers
  • A good rule of thumb when you drink with a subject is that you keep yourself twice as sober as he is.
    Chang-rae Lee  --  Native Speaker
  • A magician is a rule-of-thumb engineer.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  Glory Road
  • "Over the years military planners have arrived at a rule of thumb which dictates that functional fighting units cannot be substantially larger than 200 men," Dunbar writes.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  The Tipping Point
  • This became a kind of rule of thumb for him, to hire somebody if they couldn’t speak English, even blacks from Haiti or Ethiopia, because he figured they were new to the land and understood that no one would help them for nothing.
    Chang-rae Lee  --  Native Speaker
  • By the rule of thumb that every two to three pounds slows a horse by a length at eight to ten furlongs (a mile to a mile-and-a-quarter), and every pound costs him a length at ten furlongs or more, Seabiscuit was running with massive handicaps.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Seabiscuit
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Associated words [difficulty]:   rule of thumb [7]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Architecture, Engineering, Personal Finance, Logic & Reasoning
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