In June 2009 I put out this request to friends and blog readers:
I’ve just added a research section to this blog. If you are a native English speaker with a couple of minutes to spare, could you listen to a conversation and answer a question for me?
1. read the scenario below
2. click on the audio link below and listen to a short conversation
3. email me back – either ‘1′ or ‘2′ in answer to the question, and tell me your native variety of English eg. British, American, Canadian, Australian…
Jay and Valerie had a conversation about a website project. At the end of the conversation, Jay thought Valerie would probably hire his brother-in-law as a web developer. Valerie had no intention of hiring Jay’s brother-in-law, so there was a misunderstanding.
Who do you think was mostly responsible for this misunderstanding:
1. Jay (for not listening)?
2. Valerie (for not saying ‘no’ clearly enough)?
Please don’t feel you have to provide more explanation – a simple ‘1 or ‘2′ answer is all we need.
I’ll explain what I’m up to and report on the results later. Many thanks!