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Research War Stories: 'How can you be in the jury business?'

In the popular War Stories column, which has run sporadically in Quirk's since 1994, Art Shulman, president of Shulman Research in Van Nuys, Calif., presents humorous tales of life in the research trenches, based on his own experiences and those of researcher friends and colleagues. Each month in our e-newsletter we feature a few anecdotes from past War Stories columns.

Charles Ferguson recalls a time his company was recruiting mock juries in a small Southern town. When one respondent was told she'd be participating in a mock jury, she responded in true Southern form: "Honey, I'm in the jewelry business."
Taken aback, the recruiter asked "How can you be in the jury business?"
The reply: "I sell rings and necklaces and all sorts of things."

Doug Conwell tells about an opinion poll regarding the possible merger of two local municipalities. Respondents tended to be older retirees. The first night of interviewing, when a respondent was told the topic of the survey was the "merger," she replied - in horror - "Murder?"
Conwell and his group at first thought it was very funny. But when it started happening over and over again, they had to change the terminology.

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