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1 Chart That Explains Why People Are Wrong About Venn Diagrams

Pedantry level: infinite.

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Most things people call Venn diagrams are not Venn diagrams.

Lots of them are actually Euler diagrams. A Venn diagram has to show all possible logical relationships between sets, even if they're not things that exist; an Euler diagram doesn't.
Tom Phillips/BuzzFeed

Lots of them are actually Euler diagrams. A Venn diagram has to show all possible logical relationships between sets, even if they're not things that exist; an Euler diagram doesn't.

If you want some added explanation, here are more charts than promised in the headline.

Venn diagrams are (roughly) a very specific type of Euler diagram. For example, a Venn diagram has to show the overlap between two sets, even if there's nothing in that overlap (shown by shading it in black, as above).
Tom Phillips/BuzzFeed

Venn diagrams are (roughly) a very specific type of Euler diagram. For example, a Venn diagram has to show the overlap between two sets, even if there's nothing in that overlap (shown by shading it in black, as above).

While a Euler diagram can just show that they don't overlap:

Venn diagrams also have to show every part of every set overlapping with every other at some point, which makes them really messy compared to Euler diagrams.
Tom Phillips/BuzzFeed

Venn diagrams also have to show every part of every set overlapping with every other at some point, which makes them really messy compared to Euler diagrams.

Tom Phillips/BuzzFeed/ openclipart.org
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And of course some things described as "Venn diagrams" aren't even Euler diagrams. They're just... circles.

Tom Phillips/BuzzFeed
Tom Phillips/BuzzFeed