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  #51 (permalink)  
Old 08-28-2008, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Sesquipedalianism

Or, "you know?"

One of my favourite billboards was an ad for a cigarette that's apparently only sold in Canada called "Export A".

The ad read: "Export, eh?"
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  #52 (permalink)  
Old 08-28-2008, 06:43 PM
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Default Re: Sesquipedalianism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirko View Post
Americans seem to say "huh?"
To speak Canadian just replace "huh?" with "eh"

Mirko


Eh?




An interesting technical note, the above reply is not permitted on this forum.
It is too short by 2 characters. 5 is the minimum.
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  #53 (permalink)  
Old 08-28-2008, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Sesquipedalianism

I also noticed that you can't reply within 30 seconds of posting...
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  #54 (permalink)  
Old 08-28-2008, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: Sesquipedalianism

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Originally Posted by Poto View Post
I have all my students give talks in my lab meetings each week, to explain their research. It's a pretty good diagnostic for finding out what the understand, and what they don't.
Poto,

The thing I like most about this is that the students are in front of their peers and can't use lingo and big words in place of real understanding or knowledge.
Some of the most extreme blowhards I've been exposed to use obscure words to keep from having their expertise questioned. Their intent isn't as much to communicate as it is to show how smart they are. I prefer to use my limited intelligence to sneak up on these people, Columbo-like, and watch them melt down as they attempt to communicate clearly in words my little brain can comprehend.
To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher; "Being powerful (smart) is like being a lady. If you have to tell people that you are, then you are not."

Jim
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  #55 (permalink)  
Old 08-28-2008, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: Sesquipedalianism

Very astute, Jim. I should post your post on my door, for all my students (and colleagues) to read before they enter. Nice.

Obfuscation is the word you're looking for (speaking of sesquipedalianism). Making something unclear. Scientists are pretty good at it, though probably not as good as politicians or sociologists.

My father had a great Latin saying: Stercus taurinus mentem confundit.


"Bullshit baffles brains"
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  #56 (permalink)  
Old 08-28-2008, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: Sesquipedalianism

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I also noticed that you can't reply within 30 seconds of posting...
Yeah, but if you're quick you can edit and get away without it saying edited at the bottom of the post.
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  #57 (permalink)  
Old 08-29-2008, 06:37 PM
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Default Re: Sesquipedalianism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poto View Post
...
Back to the point, I have all my students give talks in my lab meetings each week, to explain their research. It's a pretty good diagnostic for finding out what the understand, and what they don't.
Excellent technique, IMO...

I have maybe 700-800 hours in front of adults teaching multiple types of subjects (mostly computer related). It's absolutely amazing how much harder you work when you know that you'll have to teach someone else.

Awhile back, I took a Dale Carnegie public speaking class. One night the instructor was talking about "knowing your subject". His rule was:
Quote:
To give a fair presentation, you need to know about 10 times as much as you talk about. To give a good presentation, it's 100 times as much. For an GREAT presentation? Know 1,000 times as much as you present!
I don't know if the ratios are correct, but I do know that the best presentations and classes I've ever taught were those where I knew the subject cold. The absolute WORST was when I gave someone else's speech because he had to cancel at the last minute.

Regards,

Dan.
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  #58 (permalink)  
Old 08-29-2008, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: Sesquipedalianism

It's surprising how much university teaching is done on the premise that "I only need to know the material for today's lecture." That works for some universities - where students don't ask questions or care about the material. But with the students I teach, I'd get slaughtered. After 16 years of teaching the same course, I'm still getting new questions that absolutely stump me.

And another thing I've learned: always let the students know how important it is to ask questions. Compliment them on asking a good question. Let them know that you've never even thought about that before. You can really spot the good scientists by their questions in class!

And by the way, you guys ask good questions!
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  #59 (permalink)  
Old 08-29-2008, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: Sesquipedalianism

I agree about asking questions. If nobody is asking questions, I feel like they are not interested or I've lost them. If it's not interactive, I feel like I've failed.

Regards,

Dan.
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  #60 (permalink)  
Old 08-29-2008, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Sesquipedalianism

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanClark View Post
Excellent technique, IMO...


Awhile back, I took a Dale Carnegie public speaking class.

Regards,

Dan.
Dan, I also took the Dale Carnegie course and it was a life altering experience for me! I will never forget it!

Mirko
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