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Order at all points: Counting and accounting

McHoul, A. (2001) Order at all points: Counting and accounting. In: Balnaves, M. and Caputi, P., (eds.) Introduction to quantitative research methods: An investigative approach. SAGE Publications, London, England, pp. 2-9.

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A man is driving through the bush one day and has to stop while a farmer takes his sheep across the road. There are quite a lot of sheep, so it takes a fair while. When they've all passed by, the man goes up to the farmer and asks, 'If I can tell you how many sheep you have, to within one either way, can I have one of them?' The farmer replies, 'Course you can. You'll never get it right.' The man says, 'You have six thousand four hundred and twenty two.''Well blow me down,' replies the farmer - or words to that effect. 'In fact I have six thousand four hundred and twenty one. I counted them this morning.' So the man walks back to his car with his prize.

'Wait on,' cries the farmer. 'If i can tell you what your job is, can I have her back?' 'Sure,' says the man, 'You'll never guess.' 'Well,' says the farmer, 'I figure you'd be a statistician with Australian Bureau of Statistics.' 'Well I'll be...!' the man replies, 'Exactly right. How on earth did you know that?'

The farmer comes back: 'Put me dog down and I'll tell you.'

Traditional Australian Bush Yarn.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Media, Communication and Culture
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Copyright: 2001 Mark Balnaves and peter Caputi
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