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03 DECEMBER 2003

Official Forms: The Misconception of Data Abstraction

Jane Christie (Gina Bellman), a character in the British comedy series Coupling complains about the inadequacy of official forms. She feels that they prejudice her by not allowing her to fully elaborate on her circumstances – especially when it comes to describing her marital status. She desperately wishes to be married and finds it humiliating to be single.

This example quite humorously highlights the problem of quantifying non–metric data. Official forms like the ones being described here suffer from the misconception that everyday experience can be meaningfully abstracted (and analysed).



abstractionBritish comedycomedy series • Coupling • data abstraction • Gina Bellman • inadequate • Jane Christie • married • metric • misrepresentation • official forms • prejudiceUK

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