Here are a few phrases I have heard during my not-quite-a decade as Dean of Science. They all have some truth to them, but with an underlying oddness. I share them with you so that you can understand them too, and indeed use them if you wish. After all, we don’t want to reinvent the wheel.
To show you what I mean, let’s start with one everyone knows: “I want to be frank with you,” which begs the question of the problem with frankness prior to this admission. Of course it means the opposite of what it says: “I would like to be frank with you, but I need this thing from you, so I am going to try to manipulate you.” You will hear this two-thirds of the way through a conversation, and it signals the end is coming soon. (more…)