Monday, June 2, 2008

Walter's Encyclopedia of Research Phrases

We scientists have phrases and vocabulary all our own. Long before bureaucrats started adding extraneous words to complete their thoughts and confuse the populace, we in the field of science and technology were right on it like a hamster on an exercise wheel. Many of the words and phrases we have used in our papers, research reports, lectures and journals have now been applied to every day conversation. Here is a sampling:

"It has long been known..."

    I didn't look up the original references.
"A reasonable trend is evident..."
    These data are practically meaningless.
"Of great theoretical and practical importance..."
    It is interesting to me.
"While it has not been possible to provide definite answers to these questions..."
    An unsuccessful experiment, but I still hope to get it published.
"Three of the data sets were chosen for detailed study..."
    The results of the others didn't match my conclusions.
"Typical results are shown..."
    The best results are shown.
"These results will be shown in a subsequent report..."
    Haven't gotten around to it.
"The most reliable results are those obtained by Jones..."
    He was my graduate student.
"It is believed that..."
    I think...
"It is generally believed that..."
    A couple of other guys think so, too.
"Much more work is needed before a complete understanding of the phenomenon can be reached."
    I don't understand it.
"This result is correct within an order of magnitude..."
    It is wrong.


No comments: