In the 20th century Norwegian language, like many other ones, adopted a lot of borrowings from English. One of such words is gallup which means public opinion poll in Norwegian. Thus Gallup’ name has become an identifying moniker in Norway. Actually, Gallup and public opinion poll are synonyms. A phrase about tasting a spoon of soup being enough to know its taste is attributed to him. In 1925, George married the most beautiful girl of the college – in the opinion of the majority of his mates. He conducted a poll and married the winner. They say that young George was deeply impressed by a phrase carved out on the monument to Abraham Lincoln: “I want to do everything that should be done in accordance with the wish of people, and therefore face the question of how to find it out.” Thus Gallup devoted his life to finding it out. The legendary Gallup Institute or the American Institute of Public Opinion was founded in 1935. The presidential election of the next year spurred the process. Before the voting, Literary Digest, one of the most popular magazines of that time, conducted a poll of unprecedented scale aimed at finding out the name of winner. Questionnaires were sent to the addresses taken from the telephone directory, and the resulting data was statistically processed. Literary Digest predicted the victory of Alfred Landon over acting president Franklin Roosevelt. Gallup conducted his own survey and tore his colleagues into pieces on the page of New York Times having pointed to their mistake. Phones were considered luxury at that time, so only moneybags unaware of common people’s aspirations preferred Landon to Roosevelt. The unrepresentative sample played a dirty trick on Literary Digest. The magazine could not recover after Roosevelt’ convincing victory. As for George Gallup, he organized a worldwide network of his offices distributing his own methods of polling public opinion.
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