Scientific Meaning

Here is a quick post to show translations between phrases written in many science publications and the true meaning. Thanks to Joachim for originally sending me this a long time back…

Written in publications – Meaning

It is believed – At least I believe
It is generally believed – A few others believe this too
It has long been known – I did not go for the original citation
In my experience – Once
In case after case – Twice
In a series of cases – Three times
Preliminary experiments showed that – We hope that…
Several lines of evidence demonstrate that – It would fit nice to our stuff, if…
A definite trend is evident – These data have more or less no sense
While it has not been possible to provide definite answers to the questions – The experiment did not work, anyway I hope it will be published
Three of the samples were chosen for detailed study – The other results do not make any sense
Typical results are shown in fig. 1 – This is the most impressive picture I have
Correct within an order of magnitude – Wrong
A statistically-oriented projection significance of these findings – A very wild guess
It is clear that much additional work will be required before a complete understanding of this phenomenon occurs – I do not understand it
After additional study by my colleagues – They do not 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 Mrs. Adams explained the meaning to me.
The purpose of this study was – It emphasized later, that…
Our results confirm and extend previous conclusions that – We did not discover anything new
It is hoped that this study will stimulate further investigation in this field – I quit

..probably best to avoid these phrases, any more suggestions?

Advertisements

3 Responses

  1. There is more in the same vein in a file that I sent to Harry a while back, now on the PT-group webpage:

    http://www.msm.cam.ac.uk/phase-trans/2005/joke.pdf

    The phrases were on display at the Science Museum in Chicago and come from a paper published in 1957 by C. B. Graham Jr. My particular favourites are:

    accidentally strained during mounting – dropped on the floor

    handled with extreme care throughout the experiments – not dropped on the floor

  2. This is a nice one Mathew, I almost have seen myself in a mirror :-)). The comments by Vickey are also nice.

  3. […] From bainite Here is a quick post to show translations between phrases written in many science publications and the true meaning. Thanks to Joachim for originally sending me this a long time back… […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: