Author Topic: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People  (Read 307736 times)

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cabbageweevil

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I have a chupacabra! OK, he's a Mexican Hairless dog (Xoloitzcuintli), but most reported "chupacabras" are probably Xolos.

I call him my little chupacabra when he's being cute.

Pictures! We need pictures!
I once used that breed to win a game. We had to name things in a category that started with a certain letter. No one else knew there was a dog breed that started with an X.

I couldn't keep from reflecting on what a wonderful score "xoloitzcuintli" could, with luck, get you in Scrabble (the board game). However -- besides the various possible reasons for which it would likely be disallowed; I cannot see any possible real word to which seven letters could be added, to make the marvellous breed-name.

Kariachi

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I've seen a number of science textbooks (school level as well as just more general) which state explicitly that marsupials aren't mammals. None originating from Australia (they couldn't get away with it!) but I suspect that's where the confusion comes from. Of course, I've also seen textbooks stating that only a few scientists accept evolution because there is no evidence to support it, so there you are.

"Mammal" as a concept was all nicely defined and everything, and then they discovered these annoyingly weird marsupials which fit all of the requirements for a mammal, but were still pretty strange. I can see why it was tempting to just push them off to the side. "They're technically mammals, but not really, you know."

Placentals-versus-marsupials -- a matter of temperament, maybe. For some people, "weird" is good, and exciting; for others, it's untidy and annoying and to be hushed-up and obscured as far as possible.

Nothing is untidy as long as you have enough boxes and stack them right. It's laziness, pure and simple. "We don't want to have to figure these things out, so they obviously don't matter."
"Heh. Forgive our manners, little creature that we may well kill and eat you is no excuse for rudeness."

Dr. F.

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I have a chupacabra! OK, he's a Mexican Hairless dog (Xoloitzcuintli), but most reported "chupacabras" are probably Xolos.

I call him my little chupacabra when he's being cute.

Pictures! We need pictures!
I once used that breed to win a game. We had to name things in a category that started with a certain letter. No one else knew there was a dog breed that started with an X.

I couldn't keep from reflecting on what a wonderful score "xoloitzcuintli" could, with luck, get you in Scrabble (the board game). However -- besides the various possible reasons for which it would likely be disallowed; I cannot see any possible real word to which seven letters could be added, to make the marvellous breed-name.

There's a photo of him with his former foster-sister in the Cuteliness thread: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=119442.15

Kariachi

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I have a chupacabra! OK, he's a Mexican Hairless dog (Xoloitzcuintli), but most reported "chupacabras" are probably Xolos.

I call him my little chupacabra when he's being cute.

Pictures! We need pictures!
I once used that breed to win a game. We had to name things in a category that started with a certain letter. No one else knew there was a dog breed that started with an X.

I couldn't keep from reflecting on what a wonderful score "xoloitzcuintli" could, with luck, get you in Scrabble (the board game). However -- besides the various possible reasons for which it would likely be disallowed; I cannot see any possible real word to which seven letters could be added, to make the marvellous breed-name.

There's a photo of him with his former foster-sister in the Cuteliness thread: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=119442.15

Awww, he's a cute little scruffy-mutt.  :)
"Heh. Forgive our manners, little creature that we may well kill and eat you is no excuse for rudeness."

Pioneer

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This is a fun thread, and I want to join the fun.

1.  Twins.  My two youngest were a 'Buy One Get Another Full Price' Deal.  (Identical.)  They were once asked, "You two are twins, right?  Are you just twins, or are you also sisters?" 

2.  Geography.  My credit card was once declined at a grocery in Omaha, Nebraska.  I asked the cashier to suspend the sale and serve the customer next in line while I called the number on the back.  The credit card rep alerted me to fraudulent activity on my card!  I live in Iowa!  Someone was using my card in Nebraska!  I asked, "Do you how close Iowa and Nebraska are to one another?"  "No, how close are they?"  Probably not my shiniest eHell moment, but I responded, "There are parts of Iowa that are IN Nebraska. It's called Carter Lake, Iowa. The river shifted after the state lines were drawn."  She restored the use of my card.

3.  Percentages & Decimals.  Joking but dead-panning, I once told the principal at my childrens' elementary school, "I just read a study that claims that 50% of school administrators graduated in the bottom half of their class."  He was horrified.  (I was, in turn, horrified.)

4.  Dumb Signs.  Once in a motel pool, along with "Don't dive in shallow end" and other random disclaimers was a new-to-us warning.  "Please do not blow your nose in the pool."  My kids were aghast and asked why the sign was there.  I said, "Well, apparently it has happened and it annoys Management."

Carry on!
"Try to live your life so that you wouldn't be afraid to sell the family parrot to the town gossip." -- Will Rogers

Shalamar

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I've had a weird variation on the "twin" thing -someone who thought that my girls, who were born years apart, were twins.  To be fair, he didn't know that they were born in 1994 and 1997, and when they were young, they looked quite a bit alike.  Nevertheless, I was a bit nonplussed when I ran into him in the street and he asked "How are the twins?"   I said "What are you talking about?"  He looked at me oddly and said "Your daughters.  You know."

cwm

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My sister and I get mistaken for twins.

Or when my friend V joins us, people think that V and I are sisters and my actual sister is the friend tagging along.

The sad thing is, if you look at facial structure and looks, sis and I are the closest match. If you look at skin tone and coloration, sis and V are the closest match. The only reason they think V and I are the sisters is because we're closer in height. It's bizarre.

twiggy

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I've had a weird variation on the "twin" thing -someone who thought that my girls, who were born years apart, were twins.  To be fair, he didn't know that they were born in 1994 and 1997, and when they were young, they looked quite a bit alike.  Nevertheless, I was a bit nonplussed when I ran into him in the street and he asked "How are the twins?"   I said "What are you talking about?"  He looked at me oddly and said "Your daughters.  You know."

My mom's dad died when she was young and they didn't stay in touch very well with his side of the family. There are 6 kids in the family, 5 girls, 1 boy, Mom is DD3. As an adult, she ran into someone in a small town and in doing the whole "I'm so-and-so's daughter/granddaughter/aunt" it came up that Mom was Gpa's daughter and the person she was talking to was his aunt. Aunt asked Mom how the twins were, and Mom was confused because there aren't any twins in her family. Mom came back to the house and told her oldest sister about the encounter, and Oldest Sister busted up laughing. She said "you are one of the twins." Apparently their dad's family thought that either DD2/DD3 (Mom) were twins, or else DD3 (Mom)/DD4 were twins, depending on who you asked. The thing is that there are 3 years between each DD, and the family wasn't sure which 2 girls were twins, just that Mom was one of them.
In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children.  The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted.  The result is unruly children and childish adults.  ~Thomas Szasz

Jocelyn

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Quote
The kicker was that he included three titles that he never published.  If a student made reference to any of those, the paper was an automatic failure. 

I don't quite understand.  Why would he fail them for using those publications, even if he hadn't written them?  Wouldn't they still be good to use as reference for their papers?

Because they would not have been able to find them int he library to actually READ them (which they'd have to do before they could quote them)--they don't exist. And so he'd know that they'd made up anything they claimed was from that work.
It can be derived from context that they do not exist, but the OP only says that they are not published by the professor, not that the titles do not exist.
It's a fine point, but in academia, if the citation is not correct in all points, it is a citation to an article that does not exist. It doesn't matter if the professor made up the title of the article and the journal it was published in, or if he took someone else's article and substituted his name. * The point is, Dr. Jones did not publish an article by that title in that journal, as it said in his list of publications. Before you cite an article, you are supposed to have actually READ that article, and to include it in your paper without having read it shows that you are slopping through the job of doing the research for your paper.

*I doubt any professor would take an existing article, remove the author's name, and substitute his own- this might be construed as academic dishonesty by his colleagues. It would be far easier to explain taking credit for an article that never existed, than taking credit that's due to someone else.

RingTailedLemur

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I don't understand how an adult could fall for that.  How can you cite an article or journal if you don't take a quotation directly from it?  We're they just making up quotations?

I'd be furious if I was chasing a non-existent article for the sake of someone's test of people's honesty.

greencat

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Many students will pad their papers with references to articles they didn't actually read if they have to meet a minimum number of citations for the paper (many professors impose a minimum to make their students actually do real research instead of relying solely on the textbook and/or Wikipedia.)

Thipu1

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He wasn't the only Prof I knew who did something like this. 

Yes, the articles were completely fictional.  He didn't claim articles written by others as his own.  The titles never existed in any way, shape or form that he knew about.   

It isn't necessary to give citations from every source consulted for background material. The lack of these fictional titles in the bibliography was not proof of honesty on the part of the part of the student.  The inclusion of one or more was proof of dishonesty.

The fact that one was supposedly co-authored by Batson D. Seeling should have been a dead give-away. 

nutraxfornerves

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How can you cite an article or journal if you don't take a quotation directly from it? 
In scientific writing (the only version I know) it is quite common to write something like this:

Bean dip has been shown to have beneficial effects on mental health (Jones, 1983). Or: According to Jones (1983), bean dip is effective in reducing stress during social interactions.

The bibliography would include:
Jones, John Paul, 1983, Efficacy of Bean Dip Application in Reducing Stress , J. EHellness, 34:23. [Journal of Ehellness, volume 34, page 23]

So, you make an interesting assumption, based on the title of the (fictitious) journal article, and include it in your paper, rather than actually looking up and reading articles about bean dip.

Nutrax
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Onyx_TKD

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I don't understand how an adult could fall for that.  How can you cite an article or journal if you don't take a quotation directly from it?  We're they just making up quotations?

I'd be furious if I was chasing a non-existent article for the sake of someone's test of people's honesty.

Citations are given for information found in a particular source, even if the source isn't directly quoted. If I write that John Smith invented the Cold Fusion Bugzapper in 1997, then I need to indicate where I got that information, even though I'm not going to quote the source's exact words. I assume that the students wrote their papers based on information from other sources, such as the professor's lectures and/or other publications of his that they actually read (or at least skimmed), and cited additional publications they hadn't read to pad out the number of citations and make it look like they'd done more research. Or they got information from a source like Wikipedia that they knew wouldn't be accepted as a respectable reference and lied to make it sound more legit without actually doing the more involved research.

As for chasing non-existent articles--there's no reason to invest a lot of time in chasing down an article supposedly written by the professor of the class. Once the initial search failed, all they had to do was say "Hey, Prof. X, I can't find your article 'Bugzappers of the 20th Century' on the ASIE* website. Do you know where I could find a copy?" For a legit article, I would expect the professor to be able to tell the student where it could be obtained (or outright give them a copy--e.g., emailing them the pdf) or at minimum double-check the syllabus to make sure the problem wasn't a typo in the reference. For a fake article, the professor can tell them the truth and they can stop chasing it.

*That's the American Society for Insect Exterminators, of course. Note: All journals, papers, inventors, and inventions mentioned in this post are fictitious. Any resemblance to real journals, papers, inventors, or inventions, living or dead, is purely coincidental.  >:D

Dr. F.

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How can you cite an article or journal if you don't take a quotation directly from it? 
In scientific writing (the only version I know) it is quite common to write something like this:

Bean dip has been shown to have beneficial effects on mental health (Jones, 1983). Or: According to Jones (1983), bean dip is effective in reducing stress during social interactions.

The bibliography would include:
Jones, John Paul, 1983, Efficacy of Bean Dip Application in Reducing Stress , J. EHellness, 34:23. [Journal of Ehellness, volume 34, page 23]

So, you make an interesting assumption, based on the title of the (fictitious) journal article, and include it in your paper, rather than actually looking up and reading articles about bean dip.

I *so* want to publish this in the next volume of the Journal of Irreproducible Results! Though the Journal of EHellness is pretty cool, too. Possibly we could cite it.