Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Annoying habits of college professors

Jesse Bering has an article in Scientific American: Annoying Habits of College Professors (circa 1935 to 1937). It's about a study by one Joe Moore published in -- wait till you hear this one -- the The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology. I wonder which section carried Moore's papers.

A quick excerpt:

Among the habits judged by students as being “very annoying,” some of the most frequently listed were rambling, “riding” students, pausing too long, and using pet expressions. I’m not sure how these particular pet expressions would go over in today’s college classroom, but in Moore’s study, some of the more bothersome ones apparently included “Ain’t that right, pal?;” “In the final analysis;” “Interestingly enough;” “Like an old mule” (I can only guess what this was referring to.); “If you please, gentlemen;” “Yes suh! Yes suh!” and perhaps my personal favorite, “That’s the meat of the cocoanut.”

Some professors went so far as to scratch their head, clear their throat, act too formal, rub their chin, frown, use slang, gesticulate or pause too long. A few even had the indecency to wear their clothes unpressed and smile too much. [...]


  1. Anonymous said...

    We may add another phrase to the list: "wait till you hear this one!"

  2. Abi said...

    @Anon: I'm pretty sure you haven't heard this one: