80% of Americans…..

I have had the opportunity to talk about dubious news items before. But with the Internet, it seems anybody can put up any numbers never to be cross-verified with anybody else, and what is more, it comes up as the first hits on Google.

This particular article claims 80% of Americans want to write a book. That had me stumped. 99% of Americans are literate. But 80% want to write a book?

Not to speak disparagingly of the American public or anything, but I wonder if 80% of Americans READ books.


This particular article talked about people wanting to write like J.K.Rowling.

I am guessing at what the survey looked like
Question 1: Do you know how to read
Ans: YES

Question 2: Do you know how to write
Ans: YES

Question 2: Do you want to write a book and become a billionaire like J.K. Rowling?
Ans: YES

That is the only way I can think of explaining that survey of 80% of Americans wanting to write a book.

4 thoughts on “80% of Americans…..”

  1. I think you may be missing the point here. The headline says 80% of Americans WANT to write a book.

    I want to go to the moon and I want to buy a huge big car AND a super awesome motor bike.

    Wanting to do something is a different ball game from having the will or means to do something…

  2. But even wanting to write is a very obscure thing to want isn't it? Landing on the moon, bikes – these are cool things. But not for all people is writing cool – that's why I am so confused!

  3. That is where statistics & sampling come in picture.
    If I take a "random" sample of 10 people and ask them "Do you like to write a book?", what do you think they will respond..No?

    I don't think even the coolest thing 80% doesn't want to do. Forget landing on the moon & motorbikes.. question like who would like to make billion dollars will not yield 80% return πŸ™‚ (I am 80% sure about it)

    But that apart..

    Do you like to write a book and make money like J.K.Rowling?

    (I will answer for the money part – YES YES) πŸ™‚

  4. I think the 'make money like J K Rowling' is the part that was answered in earnest!!! You could also get such results if your sample consisted of a class doing post graduation in literature somewhere!!!

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