Worst. Survey. Ever.

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Re: Worst. Survey. Ever.

Erik Moeller-4
2008/11/1 Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]>:
> It's the people that stopped answering questions completely just
> before the language questions that are the problem

Sure. But before we actually look at the data (which will tell us
that, too), I would be careful speculating about the extent of bias in
each question. In any event, any survey is always an approximation of
the truth -- just ask the US election pollsters. :-)
--
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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Re: Worst. Survey. Ever.

Mark
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
Erik Moeller wrote:
> Sure, virtually every multiple choice question could have benefited
> from additional choices, but that's always going to be the case -- you
> can either try to process thousands of write-ins, or live with the
> fact that some reasons will not be represented.
>  

Although true, most of the complaints seem to be about one or two
omissions on particular questions. The ones that have come up most often
on the English Wikipedia are:

1. The question about how you use talk pages is missing something like
"to discuss how to improve the article", which is actually what I
thought their main reason for existing was. =]

2. The question about why you don't donate to the Wikimedia Foundation
is lacking the standard "I prioritize giving to other charities more
highly" answer, which ends up making it seem like a vaguely accusatory
question (i.e. if you don't donate, it must be because you're either
poor, or dislike Wikimedia).

I thought most of the rest was reasonable.

-Mark

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Re: Worst. Survey. Ever.

Eugene van der Pijll
In reply to this post by Michael Bimmler
Michael Bimmler schreef:
> On Sat, Nov 1, 2008 at 3:21 PM, Steve Summit <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > * who can be bothered to search for his country and language
> >  (several times) in strictly-alphabetical lists of every single
> >  country and language in the world
>
> Well, one the one hand I am quite happy to have a list where it
> doesn't say "United States", "United Kingdom" at the top, then two
> dashes, and then all the "less important countries".

*Shrug* I wouldn't really care about that. But my nationality is Dutch,
and that couldn't be found at the time when I took the survey. At least,
not under the "D". And neither under the "N" for Netherlands. It was, of
course, under the "T" of "The Netherlands".

That suggests to me that they really didn't test that question, seeing
that it is a Dutch university, and that I would expect at least one of
their internal testers to be Dutch.

Eugene

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Re: Worst. Survey. Ever.

Thomas Dalton
2008/11/1 Eugene van der Pijll <[hidden email]>:

> Michael Bimmler schreef:
>> On Sat, Nov 1, 2008 at 3:21 PM, Steve Summit <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> > * who can be bothered to search for his country and language
>> >  (several times) in strictly-alphabetical lists of every single
>> >  country and language in the world
>>
>> Well, one the one hand I am quite happy to have a list where it
>> doesn't say "United States", "United Kingdom" at the top, then two
>> dashes, and then all the "less important countries".
>
> *Shrug* I wouldn't really care about that. But my nationality is Dutch,
> and that couldn't be found at the time when I took the survey. At least,
> not under the "D". And neither under the "N" for Netherlands. It was, of
> course, under the "T" of "The Netherlands".
>
> That suggests to me that they really didn't test that question, seeing
> that it is a Dutch university, and that I would expect at least one of
> their internal testers to be Dutch.

I found a similar problem. My passport says my nationality is "British
Citizen", the closest fit I could find on their list was "United
Kingdom". They clearly don't understand what "nationality" means. I
have no idea what they actually mean by "United Kingdom", there is no
such nationality. Is it a catch all for all British Nationals? Just
British Citizens? Just British Nationals resident in the UK?

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Re: Worst. Survey. Ever.

Florence Devouard-3
In reply to this post by Steve Summit
Unfortunate, but I agree

I stopped at 50%. Too long. Not friendly enough.

Immediately after it asked me how many hours per week I spent on the
project. Follow a looooooonnnnnnng list of figures, from 0 to 168. One
by one. Honestly... that's a bit ridiculous. Why not ranges ?

How many wikipedians do I meet every week ? 1, 2, 3, 4 ... 150.

I also did a mistake in entering my number of years of study. Usually,
it means "superior studies". So, I put 5.
Later learned that it meant total years of studies.
Should have been ... around 20 then. Provided that life long learning is
not studying.

Anyway, I wanted to go back, to fix my number of years of studies. Well,
no such luck, there are some back buttons missing.

Gnannnnaaaa.

Okay, suggestion for next time Erik. Much shorter survey. And separate
"contribution to" and "use of" surveys.

Ant


Steve Summit wrote:

> Anybody know where on-wiki the current survey is being discussed?
> I've got a thing or two to say.  (Message I just sent to
> [hidden email] appended.)
>
> * * *
>
> From: Steve Summit <[hidden email]>
> Date: Sat, 01 Nov 2008 10:16:41 -0400
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: your survey has problems
>
> I just completed the survey at http://survey47.wikipediastudy.org/
> survey.php.  I'm sorry to be harsh and blunt.  It's terrible.
> You can't use my results accurately -- they're wrong.
> I doubt you can use anyone's results accurately.
>
> This survey could only be completed accurately by someone:
> * with nothing to do / too much time on their hands
> * who never makes mistakes
> * who can anticipate future questions before they're asked
> * who can be bothered to search for his country and language
>   (several times) in strictly-alphabetical lists of every single
>   country and language in the world
> * who knows the 2-character ISO code for the languages he knows,
>   even when they're not obvious (e.g. DE for German)
> * who knows the 3-character ISO code for the currency he uses
>
> The survey told me I couldn't use my browser's Back and Forward
> buttons, but had to use its own.  That's rude.
>
> The survey then failed to provide Back buttons on all pages.
> That's incompetent.
>
> The survey then asked me questions like "How many hours do
> you spend contributing to Wikipedia, per week?", followed by
> "How many hours to you spend administering Wikipedia?", followed by
> "How many hours do you spend supporting Wikipedia in technical ways?"
> And that ended up being profoundly insulting.  Here's why.
>
> The administrative and technical work I do on Wikipedia feels
> like "contributions" to me, so (not knowing the next questions
> were coming up) I included those hours in my first answer.
> And the technical work I do feels like "administration", so
> (not knowing the next question was coming up) I included that
> in my second answer.  Therefore, if (as I suspect) you're
> assuming those three categories are disjoint, and since my major
> contributions lately have all been technical, I've inadvertently
> overstated my overall contributions in this survey by a factor
> of three.
>
> And those particular survey pages were among those without
> Back buttons, so I couldn't fix my mistake.  Do you know how
> incredibly frustrating that is, to have wanted to spend time
> contributing to a survey, to know I've contributed false
> information, and to not be able to fix it?
>
> Also, the survey took *way* too long.  And there was no
> information given up-front about how long it might take.
> The progress bar in the upper right-hand corner was a clue
> and a nice touch, but it came too late.
>
> The survey also took too long in relationship to the impression
> of the data likely to be gleaned from it.  Short, tightly-focused
> surveys give the surveyee the impression that some well-thought-out,
> concise questions are being addressed by the surveyer.  Long,
> scattershot surveys give the impression that the surveyers aren't
> quite sure what they're looking for, are trying to ask everything
> they can think of, and are imagining that they'll mine the data
> later for interesting results later.  But, with poorly-defined
> surveys, that task often ends up being difficult or impossible.
> So I'm left begrudging the time I spent filling out the survey,
> because it feels like the ratio of time investment (by me) to
> useful information which can be gleaned (by you) is not good.
>
> The survey asked me to specify things like "approximate number of
> articles edited" and "percentage of time spent translating" using
> drop-down selection boxes -- and with an increment of 1 between
> the available choices!  That's just silly.  (I dreaded how long I
> was going to have to scroll down to find my article edit count --
> 1196 -- and was both relieved and annoyed to discover that, after
> 500 entries, the drop-down list ended with "more than 500".)
>
> The survey's categories were too-bluntly taken from existing
> lists.  For example, the list I had to choose my employment from
> was apparently taken from one of those dreadful Department of
> Commerce categorizations, that I have just as much trouble
> finding my job in when I fill out my tax forms.
>
> At the very end, the survey asked if I wanted to submit my
> results, or fix any mistakes.  But the provided way to fix
> mistakes was to use the Back button -- perhaps several dozen
> times -- which I wouldn't have felt like doing even if the chain
> of Back buttons were complete.
>
> The survey was clearly designed by someone who was thinking about
> the data they wanted to collect, and in a scattershot way.  The
> survey was clearly not designed with the person completing it in
> mind.  The survey was clearly not designed or vetted by anyone
> who knew anything about designing good surveys.
>
> I probably had more complaints to list, but I shouldn't waste as
> much time on this letter as I already wasted taking the survey,
> so I'll stop here.
>
> Bottom line: Please use the results of this survey with extreme
> care, if at all.  The results are going to be heavily, heavily
> biased by the inadvertent selection criteria involved in the
> survey's hostility towards its participants.  If you conduct a
> survey like this again, please find someone to assist in the
> process who knows something about real-world survey work.
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>


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Re: Worst. Survey. Ever.

Elias Friedman
In reply to this post by Steve Summit
>
>
>
All I can say is that most of you must not take too many on-line surveys. I
really found this one to be pretty well designed and easy to use. The fact
is that there's never always a perfect answer in a multiple choice survey-
you just have to pick the best answer (just like on any other multiple
choice test).

Also a hint for those who didn't like the lengthy drop-down lists- just type
the first letter of the listing you want and the list will advance to that
letter and will usually advance one position each additional time you hit
that same key. For example, I live in Connecticut which is always the third
"C" listing in an alphabetical list of the US states whether it's spelled
out or they use an abbreviation. When I get to a list where I have to enter
my state, all I do is click "c" three times and I'm done!

--
Elias Friedman A.S., EMT-P ⚕
[hidden email]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Elipongo
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Re: Worst. Survey. Ever.

Steve Bennett-8
In reply to this post by Steve Summit
On Sun, Nov 2, 2008 at 1:21 AM, Steve Summit <[hidden email]> wrote:

> This survey could only be completed accurately by someone:
> * with nothing to do / too much time on their hands
> * who never makes mistakes
> * who can anticipate future questions before they're asked
> * who can be bothered to search for his country and language
>  (several times) in strictly-alphabetical lists of every single
>  country and language in the world
> * who knows the 2-character ISO code for the languages he knows,
>  even when they're not obvious (e.g. DE for German)
> * who knows the 3-character ISO code for the currency he uses

Such hate! I took the survey, and while it was imperfect, didn't find
it provoked any kind of existential crisis.

My main complaints were questions like "How many hours do you spend
doing X: 47 hours? 48 hours? 49 hours? 50 hours?..." - far too much
precision.

And of course the standard problem with most surveys, when you're
forced into either/or choices, and the choice you really want isn't
there, or you think two answers are correct or something.


> The survey's categories were too-bluntly taken from existing
> lists.  For example, the list I had to choose my employment from
> was apparently taken from one of those dreadful Department of
> Commerce categorizations, that I have just as much trouble
> finding my job in when I fill out my tax forms.

Agree here - given how many editors are likely in the IT field, you'd
expect smarter, more precise options.

Similarly, it was pretty stupid how the most common option for "what
language wikipedia do you read/write/translate to" - English - was
buried in the list. That was tedious.

> The survey was clearly designed by someone who was thinking about
> the data they wanted to collect,

Erm...yes? Logical, don't you think?


> Bottom line: Please use the results of this survey with extreme
> care, if at all.  The results are going to be heavily, heavily
> biased by the inadvertent selection criteria involved in the

IMHO, leave the survey operators to deal with such issues. It's not up
to us to concern ourselves with the accuracy of their data. They
probably have ways of working out how meaningful the answers to each
question were.

Steve

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Re: Worst. Survey. Ever.

Mark Wagner-2
In reply to this post by Michael Bimmler
On Sat, Nov 1, 2008 at 08:47, Michael Bimmler <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Sat, Nov 1, 2008 at 3:21 PM, Steve Summit <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> * who knows the 3-character ISO code for the currency he uses
>>
>
> Come on, every bank statement of yours will tell you the ISO code of
> the currency your account is in, you will probably find it on every
> magazine that you read and so on and so on. Please don't tell me that
> this is such an academic thing...

Maybe where you live.  In my country, the only symbol commonly used to
indicate quantities of currency is "$".

--
Mark Wagner

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Re: Worst. Survey. Ever.

Elias Friedman
On Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 6:34 PM, Mark Wagner <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sat, Nov 1, 2008 at 08:47, Michael Bimmler <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On Sat, Nov 1, 2008 at 3:21 PM, Steve Summit <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >> * who knows the 3-character ISO code for the currency he uses
> >>
> >
> > Come on, every bank statement of yours will tell you the ISO code of
> > the currency your account is in, you will probably find it on every
> > magazine that you read and so on and so on. Please don't tell me that
> > this is such an academic thing...
>
> Maybe where you live.  In my country, the only symbol commonly used to
> indicate quantities of currency is "$".
>
> --
> Mark Wagner



You've never gotten anything from  Canada and had to compare Canadian
dollars (CAD) to United States dollars (USD)? Also the "$" symbol stands for
pesos as well as dollars- and a few other currencies too (check the [[$]]
article). The survey is intended for a worldwide audience- you can't expect
them to cater to just us from the US.

--
Elias Friedman A.S., EMT-P ⚕
[hidden email]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Elipongo
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Re: Worst. Survey. Ever.

Charlotte Webb
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
On 11/1/08, Thomas Dalton <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> The survey told me I couldn't use my browser's Back and Forward
>> buttons, but had to use its own.  That's rude.
>
> That's a technical issue - it's certainly possible to do it in such a
> way that back and forward buttons work, but not as easy.

I missed the part that said not to use these buttons, so I used them.
I hope this didn't make my responses any more corrupted than they
already were.

—C.W.

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Re: Worst. Survey. Ever.

Andrew Cates-5
In reply to this post by Mark Wagner-2
>> Come on, every bank statement of yours will tell you the ISO code of
>> the currency your account is in, you will probably find it on every
>> magazine that you read and so on and so on. Please don't tell me that
>> this is such an academic thing...

This is completely untrue in England too. I have two bank accounts
with two different large high street banks and have just spent five
minutes looking at statements from them both. There is definitely no
ISO code. I have also tried two newspapers, a utility bill, half a
dozen invoices and I am none the wiser. If I was given an hour to find
it offline I think I would fail (and I still have no clue what it is).
I guess Google or Wikipedia would work but I have never heard of an
ISO code for currency even though I have traveled to 48 countries etc
etc...

On Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 11:34 PM, Mark Wagner <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sat, Nov 1, 2008 at 08:47, Michael Bimmler <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On Sat, Nov 1, 2008 at 3:21 PM, Steve Summit <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> * who knows the 3-character ISO code for the currency he uses
>>>
>>
>> Come on, every bank statement of yours will tell you the ISO code of
>> the currency your account is in, you will probably find it on every
>> magazine that you read and so on and so on. Please don't tell me that
>> this is such an academic thing...
>
> Maybe where you live.  In my country, the only symbol commonly used to
> indicate quantities of currency is "$".
>
> --
> Mark Wagner
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>

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Re: Worst. Survey. Ever.

K. Peachey
Even i had no idea what the ISO code was for mine (Australia Dollar)
till i looked it up and noticed it was AUD, if it asked for something
like the currency shorthand or something similar i would of known.

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Re: Worst. Survey. Ever.

Michael Bimmler
In reply to this post by Andrew Cates-5
On Tue, Nov 4, 2008 at 7:51 AM, Andrew Cates <[hidden email]> wrote:

>>> Come on, every bank statement of yours will tell you the ISO code of
>>> the currency your account is in, you will probably find it on every
>>> magazine that you read and so on and so on. Please don't tell me that
>>> this is such an academic thing...
>
> This is completely untrue in England too. I have two bank accounts
> with two different large high street banks and have just spent five
> minutes looking at statements from them both. There is definitely no
> ISO code. I have also tried two newspapers, a utility bill, half a
> dozen invoices and I am none the wiser. If I was given an hour to find
> it offline I think I would fail (and I still have no clue what it is).
> I guess Google or Wikipedia would work but I have never heard of an
> ISO code for currency even though I have traveled to 48 countries etc
> etc...


The discussion is getting a bit off-topic...but I just found an old
bus ticket from the UK in my jacket and it said clearly "GBP" on it.
But nevermind, I take it that it is obviously much more common and
usual in Switzerland to read "CHF" than in other countries of the
world to read their own currency in shorthand. We might be a bit
banking obsessed here...

To answer K. Peachey's question: Yes, obviously "currency shorthand"
or whatever would have been better (did the survey really just say
"ISO currency code"? I'm too lazy to check but this would really be a
usability mistake...)

Michael
--
Michael Bimmler
[hidden email]

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Re: Worst. Survey. Ever.

Steve Summit
Michael Bimmler
> To answer K. Peachey's question: Yes, obviously "currency shorthand"
> or whatever would have been better (did the survey really just say
> "ISO currency code"? I'm too lazy to check but this would really be a
> usability mistake...)

Or it could have just said "currency" (which is probably what it
did say) but present to the user a drop-down list of the *names*
of the currencies to select from, taken, perhaps, from the fourth
column of the table at [[ISO 4217]].

(But the image at the top of that page suggests another way
that even an American might find a currency code in common use.
I think I've seen "USD" on airline tickets, too.)

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Re: Worst. Survey. Ever.

K. Peachey
> (But the image at the top of that page suggests another way
> that even an American might find a currency code in common use.
> I think I've seen "USD" on airline tickets, too.)
Yeap for anything international wise (eg: plane tickets) you will see
USD instead of the dollar symbol so it can't be confused in other
places with the dollar (eg: Australia [AUD])

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Re: Worst. Survey. Ever.

Judson Dunn-2
In reply to this post by Michael Bimmler
On Tue, Nov 4, 2008 at 2:23 AM, Michael Bimmler <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> To answer K. Peachey's question: Yes, obviously "currency shorthand"
> or whatever would have been better (did the survey really just say
> "ISO currency code"? I'm too lazy to check but this would really be a
> usability mistake...)

It was a drop-down list of all currencies, with their name, sorted by
ISO code, so like

AED United Arab Emirates dirham
AFN Afghani
ALL  Lek
AMD Armenian dram
ANG Netherlands Antillean guilder
AOA Kwanza
ARS Argentine peso
AUD Australian dollar
.
.
.
etc

Judson
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Cohesion

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Re: Worst. Survey. Ever.

Mark Wagner-2
In reply to this post by Elias Friedman
On Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 16:02, Elias Friedman <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 6:34 PM, Mark Wagner <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On Sat, Nov 1, 2008 at 08:47, Michael Bimmler <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> > On Sat, Nov 1, 2008 at 3:21 PM, Steve Summit <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> >> * who knows the 3-character ISO code for the currency he uses
>> >>
>> >
>> > Come on, every bank statement of yours will tell you the ISO code of
>> > the currency your account is in, you will probably find it on every
>> > magazine that you read and so on and so on. Please don't tell me that
>> > this is such an academic thing...
>>
>> Maybe where you live.  In my country, the only symbol commonly used to
>> indicate quantities of currency is "$".
>>
>> --
>> Mark Wagner
>
>
>
> You've never gotten anything from  Canada and had to compare Canadian
> dollars (CAD) to United States dollars (USD)?

No, but I have had to compare C$ with $, and occasionally with AU$.

--
Mark Wagner

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Re: Worst. Survey. Ever.

Martijn Hoekstra
On Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 8:27 AM, Mark Wagner <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 16:02, Elias Friedman <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On Mon, Nov 3, 2008 at 6:34 PM, Mark Wagner <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> On Sat, Nov 1, 2008 at 08:47, Michael Bimmler <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> > On Sat, Nov 1, 2008 at 3:21 PM, Steve Summit <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> >> * who knows the 3-character ISO code for the currency he uses
>>> >>
>>> >
>>> > Come on, every bank statement of yours will tell you the ISO code of
>>> > the currency your account is in, you will probably find it on every
>>> > magazine that you read and so on and so on. Please don't tell me that
>>> > this is such an academic thing...
>>>
>>> Maybe where you live.  In my country, the only symbol commonly used to
>>> indicate quantities of currency is "$".
>>>
>>> --
>>> Mark Wagner
>>
>>
>>
>> You've never gotten anything from  Canada and had to compare Canadian
>> dollars (CAD) to United States dollars (USD)?
>
> No, but I have had to compare C$ with $, and occasionally with AU$.
>
> --
> Mark Wagner


I don't know about the creators of the survey, but to tell you the
truth, I had never expected that people don't know the ISO code of
their own currency. It's something I assume that they never expected
it either, how common or uncommon it might be.

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Re: Worst. Survey. Ever.

Andrew Gray
In reply to this post by Andrew Cates-5
2008/11/4 Andrew Cates <[hidden email]>:

>>> Come on, every bank statement of yours will tell you the ISO code of
>>> the currency your account is in, you will probably find it on every
>>> magazine that you read and so on and so on. Please don't tell me that
>>> this is such an academic thing...
>
> This is completely untrue in England too. I have two bank accounts
> with two different large high street banks and have just spent five
> minutes looking at statements from them both. There is definitely no
> ISO code. I have also tried two newspapers, a utility bill, half a
> dozen invoices and I am none the wiser. If I was given an hour to find
> it offline I think I would fail (and I still have no clue what it is).
> I guess Google or Wikipedia would work but I have never heard of an
> ISO code for currency even though I have traveled to 48 countries etc
> etc...

I have to concur - I've just discovered that my bank statement, quite
remarkably, doesn't even have the word "pounds" on it, much less a
code or the £ symbol. (I hope they haven't redenominated it in ZWD
when I wasn't looking)

It's intuitive when you see the code written down; I would be
comfortable guessing that most people would look at 57.43 GBP and
recognise it as "£57.43". But it's intuitive to go from the code to
the currency but not the other way around. In the case of the UK, I
suspect most people would look at U-- and then B-- before ending up at
G--...

This is a particularly confusing case for the UK, though! Most
countries have it a lot simpler.

--
- Andrew Gray
  [hidden email]

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Re: Worst. Survey. Ever.

Carl Beckhorn
In reply to this post by Martijn Hoekstra
On Wed, Nov 05, 2008 at 11:41:38PM +0100, Martijn Hoekstra wrote:
> I don't know about the creators of the survey, but to tell you the
> truth, I had never expected that people don't know the ISO code of
> their own currency. It's something I assume that they never expected
> it either, how common or uncommon it might be.

My theory is that it's related to international travel. I'm sure that
the main place I've seen ISO currency codes is in lists of exchange
rates (see http://www.xe.com/ucc/).  Editors who never travel
internationally are less likely to need to check exchange rates.

 - Carl

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