9
Nov 04

Pub Science

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 854 views

Pub Science
This is the first in a (possible) series of experiments in thepubology. It has become clear that greater rigour may be necessary in our understanding of the pub.

Experiment #1: The Railway

The proposition which we will set out to test is as follows:

Every pub named The Railway is a bad pub.

Methodology
Go to every pub in London named The Railway and see whether or not it is a good pub.

Definition of terms
1. “The Railway”: we understand that some nouns in pub names convey no significant meaning except pub name-ness. Examples of this include ‘inn’, ‘tavern’, ‘arms’. Some ‘Railway’ pubs have significant nouns in their names apart from ‘Railway’, such as “The Railway Bell” or “The Railway Engineer”. We will take as “The Railway” any pub whose name has the word ‘railway’ as the only significant noun.

2. “London”: we define London for the purposes of this experiment as that area covered by the postcodes E, EC, N, NW, SE, SW, W, WC.

Control
For our control, we will visit and assess two kinds of pub, which can be thought of as ‘nearly-railway’s:
1) every pub in London whose name contains the word ‘Railway’ plus another significant noun.
2) a selection of pubs near railway stations which do not have the word ‘Railway’ in their names.

Assumptions
1. For practical reasons, this experiment will be carried out over a period of time which may amount to several months. For the purposes of this study, we will attempt to remain aware of any time-based variations. For example, it could be argued that the added decoration and good cheer experienced in the second half of December, as set against the emotional and budgetary misery of January and February, may skew the results. We will try to take account of these variables in our assessments.
2. We are assuming that London “The Railway”s are representative of “The Railway”s as a whole. We understand that we could deal with the problems of this assumption by amending the proposition such that it refers to “every pub in London named the Railway” but we thought we would take this opportunity to irritate those of you who choose, for your own reasons, to live in Zone 7 or beyond.
3. There are many ways in which a pub can be a good pub or a bad pub. This area is one in which subjective judgements may sometimes – though not always – be required. This study therefore is run with the following assumption: we know a good pub when we see one.

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