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Like, you know?

I plan to make all of my students watch this video:

Typography from Ronnie Bruce on Vimeo.

I've noticed the creeping vines of questions crawling on sentences in many recent science talks, especially by the "young'uns." The non-question question mark is a defining characteristic of Caltech undergrad speech patterns? I've also noticed a lot of, "Today, I want to tell you about low-mass stars." Oh yeah? You want to tell me that? Well tell me, instead of leaving me in doubt right off the bat! "Today I'm going to tell you about low-mass stars." Period. Then do it!

Another pet peeve of mine is "sort of." There are way too many things in astronomy these days that sort of do things, and sort of correlate with other things. In practice, you don't sort of extract your spectrum. So don't tell me you did.

Tell me what you know. Be the expert in the room. Not just for your sake, but for mine and the rest of the audience.

Hat tip to my seester Amy P. for the video.

P.S. Can you tell I'm suffering from post-AAS burn out?


Megan said…
Like, you know, sort of... one of the phrases my first boss made me eliminate from my vocabulary was "I guess". I am not guessing! I need to tell him yes or no and why! He was right, and I still remember that conversation even though it's been 10 yrs ago now (yikes, am I that old?). It goes along with the "sort of", though. And I can't believe I am old enough to criticize the way young folks talk. Am I that old already???
blissful_e said…
Way to go, John! Fight the good fight!!

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