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Thread: Scientific Phrases - What They Say and What They Mean

  1. #1
    target='_blank' snowmaker's Avatar
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    Scientific Phrases - What They Say and What They Mean

    "It has long been known" - I didn't look up the original reference.

    "A definite trend is evident" - These 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"
    - 1 This is the prettiest graph.
    - 2 The best results are shown.

    "These results will be in a subsequent report" - I might get around to this sometime, if pushed/funded.

    "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 others think so, too.

    "Correct within an order of magnitude" - Wrong.

    "According to statistical analysis" - Rumor has it.

    "A statistically-oriented projection of the significance of these findings" - A wild guess.

    "A careful analysis of obtainable data" - Three pages of notes were obliterated when I knocked over a glass iced tea.

    "It is clear that much additional work will be required before a complete understanding of this phenomenon occurs"
    - 1 I don't understand it.
    - 2 I need more grant money.
    - 3 I can get at least one more paper out of this.

    "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 Cindy Adams for valuable discussions" - Mr. Blotz did the work and Ms. Adams explained to me what it meant.

    "A highly significant area for exploratory study" - A totally useless topic selected by my committee.

    "Handled with extreme care during the experiments" - Not dropped on the floor.

    "Presumably at longer times" - I didn't take the time to find out.

    "This paper will omit a review of the more recent literature in favor of" - I don't know if anything has been written on this since my dissertation.

    "Various authorities agree" - I overheard this in the hall.

    "It was observed that" - One of my students noticed that..

    "No discussion would be complete without reference to the contributions of" - I need another footnote on this page.

    "This research has left many questions unanswered." - I didn't find anything of significance.

    "This finding has not yet been incorporated into general theory" - Perhaps my next graduate student will make sense of it.

    "It is hoped that this study will stimulate further investigation in this field" - I quit.
    -bruce /* somdcomputerguy */
    'If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.'

  2. #2
    Thinkin' out loud again Builder's Avatar
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    Seen in the wild:
    Based on simulations from numerous models
    I'll leave it to others to provide a definition...
    A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...
    but a true friend will be sitting next to you saying,
    "Damn... that was fun!"

  3. #3
    target='_blank' snowmaker's Avatar
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    Yep. This is a 'family-rated' forum, so you won't find any pictures of car or truck models here..
    -bruce /* somdcomputerguy */
    'If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.'

  4. #4
    Thinkin' out loud again Builder's Avatar
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    Too funny
    A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...
    but a true friend will be sitting next to you saying,
    "Damn... that was fun!"

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