What the Heck Is Pebbles and Pundits?

April 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, Explanation, Featured

No, this isn’t your chance to stone the pollsters.  Our name, Pebbles and Pundits, blends aspects of two cultures historically rich in intellect and innovation.  Here’s how.

In Greek, psephology means the study of elections.  At its root is pseph which means pebble or ballot.  In ancient times, Greek citizens were required to present a pebble to cast their votes.  It’s the most rudimentary way of gauging public opinion, and while the technology may have changed, our goal at the Marist Poll is the same — to identify current trends by measuring what people think.

Now, let’s take a look at pundits.  Okay, you’re probably thinking, “Why would anyone want to draw so much attention to talking heads on their website?”  We’ll tell you, but first, you’ll have to check your preconceptions at the door.  The term, pundit, goes far beyond its current association with “talking head.”  Pundit comes from a Hindi word that traces its origin back to Sanskrit where, pandita, means learned.  Through the years, the definition has evolved to include explanations such as teacher, scholar, and authoritative commentator.  So, we’re not saluting the “inside the Beltway talking heads.”  Instead, we’re committing ourselves to bringing you cutting edge information from experts.

At the Marist Poll, it’s our hope not only to provide you with our latest data, but to be your online poll bureau where you’ll find many sources and resources to satisfy your research needs and curiosity.  Click around the site.  You’ll discover the latest poll headlines as well as expert analyses of poll numbers, current events and pop culture from around the globe.  Why?  We’re here to help you educate yourself and form the best personal opinions you can.

Click on the following video for a welcome message from the Marist Poll’s Mary Azzoli:


7 Responses to “What the Heck Is Pebbles and Pundits?”

  1. DOREEN AWITI on May 5th, 2009 2:21 pm

    Pebbles and Pundits !!! I had no idea …. now I know

  2. Wilbert on December 8th, 2009 10:55 am

    The word ψήφος derives from the practice used during the Athenian democracy. Not all Greek states had democratic rule but only Athens during certain periods of time.

  3. Paulie on May 9th, 2010 1:23 pm

    The word ψήφος derives from the practice used during the Athenian democracy. Not all Greek states had democratic rule but only Athens during certain periods of time.

  4. Alexgri on August 22nd, 2010 12:06 pm

    I would like to be polled regarding the mosque and other things of NYC interest.
    I am a Mahhattan Resident.

  5. Travis Brown on February 22nd, 2012 11:15 am

    I would like to know how polling information is collected. In other words, how do you choose who participates in your polls?

    The reason I ask is because I saw a poll result citing your website on MSNBC this morning. The other strange thing I noticed was that all polls chosen seemed to add up to only 84% with a 2.5% error rate. Can you explain?

  6. Mary Azzoli on February 23rd, 2012 3:41 pm

    @Travis: Thank you for your interest in our poll! You can find information about how our most recent surveys were conducted at the bottom of the each of these two pages.


    You can also find the full results on these two pages as well.

    Mary Azzoli
    - Director of Interactive Media Systems, The Marist Poll

  7. Bill Fagen on February 7th, 2016 4:29 pm

    Hi Lee,

    I knew if I kept my eye on the polls Marist would come up. Hope all is well with you and Nancy. It’s been a while. Ruthie and I left Poughkeepsie in 1978. But then we do go back to 3rd grade Hebrew School. I am teaching and coaching in Newton, MA.
    Also have a thriving pool business, as you can see by the e-mail. Left the JCC’s in 1998. Had enough. Been a high school health and fitness teacher since and really love it. Maybe we can catch up some time. Great web site. Glad to see some things never change. Say hi to Nancy.

    Hope you get to see this.


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