Nomological Net

Stray thoughts from here and there. The occasional concern for construct validity. No more logic. Fish.


faults in the clouds of delusion

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Some Nordic-type exchange student uses the word "shit" in class yesterday -- first class of the year, first thing that he says. He goes, "You can make a shit product and people will still buy it." I'm not sure why he had to put it that way. Was it his way of going for alpha dog? Or did he feel like he needed to impress me, since the class was already digging (so to speak) my informality?

Anyway, I shot back, "Yes, but if your product is as inedible as you say, then people won't buy it a second time." He agreed with my point. More pertinently for me, he didn't seem to get the subtlety of my phrasing.

Oh well, it was a good thirteen months.


Anonymous Lekhni said...

Maybe he was going for "crappy" - an adjective which even Merriam Webster's seems to have no problem with. And yes, I find "crappy" unpalatable too, but clearly I am in a finicky minority.

2/03/2010 8:09 AM  
Blogger Rahul Siddharthan said...

Such language isn't unknown among faculty either. I was at a summer school (attended mainly by grad students, and I think some undergrad students) where one speaker titled his talk "Why NeoClassical Evolution Theory is a Crock O'Shit". (The material was serious and interesting. He just wanted attention upfront.)

2/03/2010 4:17 PM  
Blogger km said...

There's way too much subtext in four-letter words.

Not knowing the guy, I'd say maybe he was trying to use the word in a funny way and to make a really strong point? (Like, maybe his laptop had been crashing all morning? :))

If properly used, a slang in a formal setting (like your classroom) can get people's attention. Etiquette is another matter.

2/03/2010 10:14 PM  
Blogger wildflower seed said...

KM said : There's way too much subtext in four-letter words.

Qualifiers, man. Good shit. Deep shit. THE shit. Thusly, new shit comes to light - shit it up any which way you like as long as you know what you are shitting.

2/04/2010 5:05 AM  
Blogger Tabula Rasa said...

who can plumb the mind of an undergrad?

i'd be far more prepared for it in a seminar than a class!

km, wfs:
hell, yeah.

2/05/2010 7:05 AM  
Anonymous blackmamba said...

Don't be mad once you see that he want it/
If see a shit then you shoulda put a diaper on it...*

* inspired by Beyonce's Single Ladies... of course.

2/05/2010 8:15 AM  

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