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Ask Marilyn: Does Marilyn Ever Get Any Apologies?
Blake Carter of College Station, Texas, writes:
Marilyn: I am an undergraduate student at A&M. I'm writing about the criticism you received for the Monty Hall Problem. I became aware of it after reading a book by Jim Al-Khalili. I read even more criticism on your website. Many educated men, some of them professors, wrote very harsh things about you. Later, after everyone realized you were indeed correct, you published some responses. I noticed that none of the original rude professors—some of them were outright disrespectful—was among them. Did any of them write back to apologize or say anything nice? I'm curious to know if they admitted their errors the way they begged you to do.
Several of them wrote back, but none with an apology. Most maintained that the statement of the problem was ambiguous. However, plenty of other readers—people who had thought my answer was wrong but hadn't written to say so and people whose letters weren't published—wrote to say they had gotten it wrong at first but were delighted with the "aha" moment when they understood later.