Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Professional mix-ups

One of the interesting mix-ups involving us metallurgy types appeared in the magazine New Scientist over 10 years ago. When someone is introduced as a metallurgist, the other person responds with, "so, what is the weather going to be like tomorrow?" Of course, such a conversation (and the resulting mix up) is impossible now, because all of us metallurgist types have switched to calling ourselves materials scientists ...

On a related note, do take a look at the experience of Alex Tabarrok, whose provocative post on creationism we discussed recently (link via Reuben of ZooStation)

Apparently, anthropologists get a richer variety of responses. When they tell someone they study, um, anthropology, they receive such gems as:

"I have a friend/relative who studies insects."

"Like Indiana Jones? Do you have one of those hats?"

"I think shamanism is so fascinating, don't you?"

"ah... dinosaur bones. Fascinating."