Home » Culture, Intelligent Design, Science » New Rosetta Stone discovered: Translations from science journalese into English!

New Rosetta Stone discovered: Translations from science journalese into English!

It’s Friday afternoon. Yawn. A reader sent this in, from an unknown (to us) original source. If a source deserves credit, mention it in the combox below. Meanwhile:

“It has long been known” = I didn’t look up the original reference.

“A definite trend is evident” = These data are practically meaningless.

“While it has not been possible to provide definite answers to the questions” = An unsuccessful experiment, but I still hope to get it published.

“Three of the samples were chosen for detailed study” = The other results didn’t make any sense.

“Typical results are shown” = This is the prettiest graph.

“These results will be in a subsequent report” = I might get around to this sometime, if pushed/funded.

“In my experience” = once.

“In case after case” = twice.

“In a series of cases” = thrice.

“It is believed that” = I think.

“It is generally believed that” = A couple of others think so, too.

“Correct within an order of magnitude” = Wrong.

“According to statistical analysis” = Rumor has it.

“A statistically oriented projection of the significance of these findings” = A wild guess.

“A careful analysis of obtainable data” = Three pages of notes were obliterated when I knocked over my coffee.

“It is clear that much additional work will be required before a complete understanding of this phenomenon occurs”= I don’t get it.

“After additional study by my colleagues”= They don’t get 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 Ms. Adams explained to me what it meant.

“A highly significant area for exploratory study” = A totally useless topic selected by my committee.

“It is hoped that this study will stimulate further investigation in this field” = I quit.

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4 Responses to New Rosetta Stone discovered: Translations from science journalese into English!

  1. “X has evolved Y” = “X has Y”

  2. In an attempt to use Googlese to find your elusive source, I came across a lot of articles (many in journalese) attempting to disseminate the fine details of journalese. Sigh.

    But what I found is that most (not all) relate “journalese” to journalism rather than to academic journals.

    This for example:

    http://www.i-c-r.org.uk/public.....raph40.pdf

    Equally humorous is some unintentional headline information:

    POLICE SQUAD HELPS DOG BITE VICTIM

    CHILD TEACHING EXPERT TO SPEAK

    WOMAN BETTAR AFTER BEING THROWN FROM HIGH RISE

    CHILD’S STOOL GREAT FOR USE IN GARDEN

    KID’S PAJAMAS TO BE REMOVED BY WOOLWORTHS

    EIGHTH ARMY PUSH BOTTLES UP GERMANS

    Etc….

    Just enjoying my coffee. :-)

  3. 3
    Chance Ratcliff

    @1, brilliant addition to the list!
    @2, hillarious! I heard that Macy’s has women’s underwear half off.

  4. Some of these are similar to the a Glossary for Research Reports published in the journal, Metal Progress (1957) and quoted from A Random Walk in Science (1973). Some other examples are

    typical results are shown = the best results are shown

    the agreement with the predicted curve is . . .
    excellent = fair
    good = poor
    satisfactory = doubtful
    fair = imaginary

    It might be argued that = I have such a good answer to this objection that I shall now raise it.

    ………….

    A headline regarding a congressional event was supposedly reported as FARMER BILL DIES IN HOUSE.

    Q

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