I am trying to get a grasp of the most basic statistics concepts. I am not a student, except in the sense of being interested in better understanding statistical ideas.

The thing that's driving me completely nutty right now is gaining a grasp of standard deviation, in particular the difference between computing the standard deviation of a group of values that can be 2, 7, ... 55 ... 150 ad-infinitum, that describes the "flatness/sharpness" of how they're distributed and the idea that a certain percentage of the distribution of values are 1, 2, 3 standard

*deviation*

**s**"away" from the average.

The same term appears to be used in two different ways and all the tutorials I've read jump from one use of the term to the other without explaining the connection that allows "standard deviation" to be applied to both. I'm lost.

Being at the very lowest, entry level of statistics learning, this is probably not the right forum, given that this is a "homework" type issue, so I'm looking for links to good statistics/math forums where I

*can*ask (potentially not-so-smart) questions.

Thanks