Friday, 19 February 2016

A Study Suggests

There are a lot of academic Studies out there, aren’t there?  Or putting it another way, there is a lot of academic Studies out there, isn’t there?  I’m sure someone has published a learned Study on the subject of The Collective Singular in Modern English. 

In fact I’d be amazed if they/he/she haven’t/hasn’t.  My own Study suggests that the academic study industry, in its broadest encompassment, is set to outweigh all other industries put together.  Nary a day goes by without at least two catching the media’s attention.  And they (the reported ones, that is) seem, mostly, to fall into one of two categories: statements of the bleeding obvious, and pure gibberish. 

The latest to catch my eye is the one suggesting that, in various life choices, we tend to favour the option located on our dominant side.  That is to say, right for right-handed people, left for lefties.  As an instance of this, the authors state that we’re more likely to vote for a candidate on the right-hand side of the ballot paper if we are right-handed, and vice versa.

Now, this is an American study, and America is a democracy (let’s assume) in which the right not to vote is constitutionally, albeit not explicitly, enshrined.  So it’s possible that these authors have never seen an actual ballot paper.  To be fair, I’m not particularly familiar with the details of the American electoral system, except that it involves things called chads, which may be hanging; but I reckon it’s safe to assume that candidates are, as here in Britain, listed from top to bottom rather than left to right.  Er, was this the best example they could think up?

No.  They also suggest that, at an interview, you should sit to the interviewer's right, or left, in order to make the best impression.  Now again, have they ever attended an interview at which they were given the choice of where to sit?  And at which they knew in advance whether the interviewer was right- or left-handed?  And have they considered that, whilst this technique might just improve your chances of getting the job, it might also put you off it?

Gubbish.  Gobbledegook.  Anyone got any other examples of this sort of pseudo-scientific codswallop?


  1. I think you'll find the US election involves a lot of "chavs"

    1. And hanging is clearly too good for most of them.