Our Own Buzz

21 July 2008 at 9:39 am 5 comments

| Lasse Lien |

While we are (eagerly) awaiting the definition of beaconicity, here’s what the standard scientific jargon really means (original source unknown):

“IT HAS LONG BEEN KNOWN” — I didn’t look up the original reference.

“A DEFINITE TREND IS EVIDENT” — The data are practically meaningless.

“WHILE IT HAS NOT BEEN POSSIBLE TO PROVIDE DEFINITE ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS” — An unsuccessful experiment, but i still hope to get it published.

“THREE OF THE SAMPLES WERE CHOSEN FOR DETAILED STUDY” — The other results didn’t make any sense.

“TYPICAL RESULTS ARE SHOWN” — This is the prettiest graph.

“THESE RESULTS WILL BE IN A SUBSEQUENT REPORT” — I might get around to this sometime, if pushed/funded.

“THE MOST RELIABLE RESULTS ARE OBTAINED BY JONES” — He was my graduate student; his grade depended on this.

“IN MY EXPERIENCE” — Once.

“IN CASE AFTER CASE” — Twice.

“IN A SERIES OF CASES” — Thrice.

“IT IS BELIEVED THAT” — I think.

“IT IS GENERALLY BELIEVED THAT” — A couple of other guys think so too.

“CORRECT WITHIN AN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE” — Wrong.

“ACCORDING TO STATISTICAL ANALYSIS” — Rumor has it.

“A STATISTICALLY ORIENTATED PROJECTION OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THESE FINDINGS” — A wild guess.

“A CAREFUL ANALYSIS OF THE OBTAINABLE DATA” — Three pages of notes were obliterated when I knocked over a glass of beer.

“IT IS CLEAR THAT MUCH ADDITIONAL WORK WILL BE REQUIRED BEFORE A COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING OF THIS PHENOMENON OCCURS” — I don’t understand it.

“AFTER ADDITIONAL STUDY BY MY COLLEAGUES” — They don’t understand it either.

“THANKS ARE DUE TO JOE BLOTZ FOR ASSISTANCE WITH THE EXPERIMENT AND TO ANDREA SCHAEFFER FOR VALUABLE DISCUSSIONS” — Mr. Boltz did the work and Ms. Schaeffer explained to me what it meant.

“A HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT AREA FOR EXPLORATORY STUDY” — A totally useless topic selected by my committee.

“IT IS HOPED THAT THIS STUDY WILL STIMULATE FURTHER INVESTIGATION IN THIS FIELD” — I quit.

Entry filed under: Ephemera. Tags: .

Technology and Firm Size and Organization (Redux) The Long Tail, Serial-Killer Edition

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jacob Christensen › What the Professor Means Is…  |  21 July 2008 at 9:56 am

    [...] you’ve ever wondered about (social) science jargon, Lasse Lien comes to your rescue: “IT HAS LONG BEEN KNOWN” — I didn’t look up the original [...]

  • 2. Rafe  |  21 July 2008 at 6:52 pm

    The good news is that beaconicity can be googled. You just need to know that there is a Beacon Scheme in Britain to give out awards to local council that are outstanding (beacons) in efficiency or something.

    http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/localgovernment/beaconicity.

    MORE WORK IS REQUIRED. I am applying for an extension of my grant.

    The philosophers have a lexicon of technical terms but they are mostly in jokes about particular philosophers.

    http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/lexicon/#LEXICON

    popper, adj. Exhibiting great moral seriousness; impopper, frivolous.

    rawl, n. A fishing line, baited with a few apparently innocent intuitions about fairness, but capable of bringing in such big fish as Pareto optimality and God knows what else.

  • 3. Lasse  |  22 July 2008 at 4:47 am

    Excellent Rafe. Would it be a proper use of beaconicity to say that you have shown great beconicity by figuring out (googling) the origin and meaning of beaconicity?

  • 4. Rafe Champion  |  22 July 2008 at 6:11 am

    Possibly Lasse, but to be sure I would have to google some more and find out the criteria for scoring beacon award points. I suspect that putting in time googling up the meaning of silly words while I should be getting on with my proper work would not score a lot of points unless it counts as initiative, entrepreneurial flair and willingness to provide additional services not listed in my job description.

  • 5. Lasse  |  22 July 2008 at 7:48 am

    Interesting, Rafe. So one can be beaconistic in the eyes of the O&M community, without being beaconistic in the eyes of ones employer. Well, I think I can safely say that today I haven’t been beaconistic in anyones eyes.

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