Thomas Stearns Eliot ends The Burial of the dead (first part of Waste Land) with an excerpt from Charles Baudelaire‘s preface to Fleurs du Mal: “You! Hypocrite Lecteur! – mon semblable, -mon frère!” (in Baudelaire’s original there isn’t the word “You!”). We can translate it in “You! Hypocrite reader, my likeness, my brother!”.
In Baudelaire’s (and Eliot’s mind), the reader is guilty of lies and sins exactly like the author. And sins are not the output of any kind of Devil’s activity but rather the result of boredom.
Recently I answered to an online questionnaire that asked me about “online bet games”. I d0n’t bet often but the curiosity pushed me. And I found a great example of HOW NOT TO WRITE A QUESTIONNAIRE.
Few days ago I came across a post: Respondents are people too by Rosie Greening (at SSI) and I strongly advice to read it.
A worryingly huge number of researcher (with complicity of a same number of research buyers) write questionnaire following 3 criteria:
- Using words the research buyer prefer
- Using concepts the research buyer prefer
- Piling each research buyer’s doubt in questions
Recently I read some questionnaire that made me howl.
Case 1 – Some times ago, someone asked me to word a question “How do you rate the chiostrina“. In Italian, chiostrina is a small (about few square metres) courtyard in some buildings (example, hotels) to bring air and light to rooms that haven’t windows on the frontage. It is a technical term, probably used by architects. No average respondent knows the term.