A. Terms used in writing research papers
It has long been known that
I haven’t bothered to look up the original reference
Of great theoretical and practical importance
Interesting to me
While it has not been possible to provide definite answers to these questions
The experiments didn’t work out, but I figured I could at least get a publication out of it
The W-Pb system was chosen as especially suitable to show the predicted behavior
The fellow in the next lab had some already made up
High purity / very high purity / extremely high purity / super-purity / specroscopically pure
Composition unknown except for the exaggerated claims of the supplier
A fiducial reference line
Three of the samples were chosen for detailed study
The results on the others didn’t make sense and were ignored
Accidentally strained during mounting
Dropped on the floor
Handled with extreme care throughout the experiments
Not dropped on the floor
Typical results are shown
The best results are shown
Although some detail has been lost in the reproduction, it is clear from the original micrograph that
It is impossible to tell from the micrograph that
Presumably at longer times
I didn’t take the time to find out
The agreement with the predicted curve is excellent
As good as could be expected
These results will be reported at a later date
I might possibly get around to this sometime
The most reliable values are those of Jones
Jones was a student of mine
It is suggested that / It is believed that / It may be that
It is generally believed that
A couple of other guys think so too
It might be argued that
I have such a good answer to this objection that I shall now raise it
It is clear that much additional work will be required before a complete understanding…
I don’t understand it
Unfortunately, a quantitative theory to account for these effects has not been formulated
Neither does anybody else
Correct within an order of magnitude
It is hoped that this work will stimulate further work in the field
This paper isn’t very good, but neither are any of the others in this miserable subject
Thanks are due to Joe Glotz for assistance with the experiments and to John Doe for valuable discussions
Joe Glotz did the work and John Does explained what it meant
B. Terms used in presenting research papers
A reference to work of an author whose work is to be attacked
A surprising finding
We barely had time to revise the abstract. Of course we fired the technician.
Preliminary experiments have shown that
We did it once but couldn’t repeat it
The method, in our hands
Somebody didn’t publish all the directions
A survey of the earlier literature
I even read through some of last year’s journals
Careful statistical analysis
After going through a dozen books, we finally found one obscure test that we could apply
We are excited by this finding
It looks publishable
We have a tentative explanation
I picked this up in a bull session last night
We didn’t carry out the long-term study
We like to go home by 5 pm. What do you think we are, slaves?
The mechanism is not clear
We plan to do a second experiment as soon as we get home
C. Terms used in discussing research presentations
We say this with trepidation
(a) We are going out on a limb when in the presence of an author whose work is to be, or has been, attacked, or
(b) We are about to make a statement about something we know nothing about
Could you discuss your findings?
Tell us know. Don’t hide it in some obscure journal.
Have you considered the possibility…?
Have you read my work?
Have you any ideas at all…?
What are you keeping from us?
Would you care to speculate…?
I wonder if you agree with me?
Why do you believe…?
You’re out of your mind
I would like to make one comment on these suggestions
We cannot reconcile the data
Are you telling the truth?
We have repeated your experiments in our lab
Brother, were we surprised!
Did I read your slide correctly?
Did you write it correctly? I never make mistakes.
It is evident that the field of scientific semantics offers ground for fruitful investigation (which means “I never expect to do it myself, but if someone does, this statement will give me a claim of priority”).
The material in Part A is from C. D. Graham, Jr., from Metal Progress, 71, 75 (1957). The material in Parts B and C is from David Kritchevsky and R. J. van der Wal, from Proceedings of the Chemical Society, May 1960, p. 173.