Thursday, September 20, 2007


I have laryngitis. It hurts to talk. At all. A lot. But I've been through this before. There were times when I went to work with laryngitis. To avoid talking to people, I brought a few index cards on which I pre-printed the few responses I would need to get through the day. I brought a few standards, like Yes, No, and "This too shall pass". I also pre-printed one or two specials, like the card that said: "You MUST implement the remote control package as a dll!"

Now here are the cards I took to the supermarket last night:
Laryngitis, I can't speak.
This too shall pass.
It's a plantain. The PLU code is: 4235

But as soon as I reached checkout, I knew I was going to have to speak. I had forgotten to bring a card that would answer this question:
"Credit or Debit?"

Now you might think I should have brought a card saying "Credit", but I always prefer a card that has more general application. This card would have been fine:
"Um, what was that second choice again?"


Philip said...

Another interesting case is how can you handle generic multiple choice questions with the fewest cards. I think the least you can do it with is two. One card which says "What was the first option?" and another card that says "What is the next option?".

The Blogger said...

I actually carried a card for a few days that said: "please repeat those alternatives slowly until I say yes."
- PB