Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Dictionary of Useful Research Phrases

Happy New Year and so forth. I trust that everyone has had a stressful festive season and needs to loose a couple of kilos by now. Anyway, Curly Arrow has been a bit quiet lately. In my case the year has taken off at full speed with a conference coming up in two weeks time where I will be presenting results I still haven't obtained (sound familiar?). And that's only half of my troubles these days so I'll let the other guys be in charge for the next couple of weeks. The picture above is a PDC reaction I did recently. I am not a big fan of PDC oxidations and will not be doing one again but I really needed a picture for this post so there it is. Some years ago I saw a list attached to some academics door entitled: A Dictionary Of Useful Research Phrases. I thought it was a good laugh. Have a read and see what you think.
(1) "It has long been known..." Means: I didn't look up the original reference.
(2) "A definite trend is evident..." Means: These data are practically meaningless.
(3) "Of great theoretical and practical importance..." Means: Interesting to me.
(4) "While it has not been possible to provide definite answers to these questions..." Means: This was an unsuccessful experiment, but I still hope to get it published.
(5) "Three of the samples were chosen for detailed study." Means: The others made no sense.
(6) "Typical results are shown." Means: The best results are shown.
(7) "The most reliable results are those obtained by Jones." Means: He was my grad assistant.
(8) "It is believed that..." Means: I think.
(9) "It is generally believed that..." Means: A couple of other guys think so, too.
(10) "It is clear that much additional work will be required before a complete understanding of the phenomenon is possible." Means: I don't understand it.
(11) "Correct within an order of magnitude." Means: Wrong.
(12) "It is hoped that this study will stimulate more work in this field." Means: This is a lousy paper, but so are the others in this crummy field.
(13) "Thanks are due to Joe Blotz for assistance with the experimental work and to George Frink for valuable discussions." Means: Blotz did the work, and Frink explained to me what it meant.
(14) "A careful analysis of obtainable data..." Means: Three pages of notes were obliterated when I knocked over a glass of beer.
(15) "A statistically oriented projection of the findings..." Means: Wild guess.
(16) "A highly significant area for exploratory study..." Means: A totally useless topic suggested by my committee.
If you know some good ones not mentioned above please post them here. Cheers, D!


Anonymous said...

Totally agree with the sentiment on using PDC.

My own experience is that first you add a couple of equivalents, and leave overnight. Next morning, TLC, then add another couple of equivalents, thinking "That should do it.".

Stir for another 24h, TLC, scream loudly, and think "Bollocks to this!" and add another 20 equivalents!

Atom economy? What's that?

Barbara said...

Ho nosseversi ziz, il coia hava umou!!! Wolo, havradoo faviedec. Osta massar out feduzarc portelle tingmanceu que juldaqua. Rilhou hisegria mestri zentos um.

Anonymous said...

Superb post, guys! It made my evening :)

Kevin P. Worrell said...

haw haw haw.

I remember the first time I read jokes like that! It was so funny I fell off my brontosaurus.