Translating Scientific Reports

The following list of phrases and their definitions might help you understand the mysterious language of science and medicine. These special phrases are also applicable to anyone reading a PhD dissertation or academic paper.

“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 a glass of Mountain Dew.

“IT IS CLEAR THAT MUCH ADDITIONAL WORK WILL BE REQUIRED BEFORE A COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING OF THIS PHENOMENON OCCURS”… I don’t understand it

“AFTER ADDITIONAL STUDY BY MY COLLEAGUES”… They don’t understand 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.

via

 Thanks Mike (From Spain)

 

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3 thoughts on “Translating Scientific Reports”

  1. Also applicable to political speeches and 21st century journalism (added notes in brackets)…

    “IT HAS LONG BEEN KNOWN”… I didn’t look up the original reference. (Decrepit old toothless dude calling himself Methuselah down on 5th and Main been sayin’ it for years. Know w’ I mean?)

    “A DEFINITE TREND IS EVIDENT”… These data are practically meaningless. (Painting the ol’ band wagon. Time to partisan.)

    “WHILE IT HAS NOT BEEN POSSIBLE TO PROVIDE DEFINITE ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS”… An unsuccessful experiment, but I still hope to get it published. (I ain’t got shit so listen up to my charisma working overtime here because the 24/7 party line narrative officially follows)

    “THREE OF THE SAMPLES WERE CHOSEN FOR DETAILED STUDY”… The other results didn’t make any sense. (997 other samples were left out for not supporting the party agenda)

    “TYPICAL RESULTS ARE SHOWN”… This is the prettiest graph. (These results have been meticulously crafted to support my party narrative so get ready to hear these highly manipulated bullet points A LOT)

    “THESE RESULTS WILL BE IN A SUBSEQUENT REPORT”… I might get around to this sometime, if pushed/funded. (We hired these people but their study screwed us by telling the truth. So listen carefully to what I’m about to say, “These are not the droids you’re looking for. Move along.”)

    “IN MY EXPERIENCE”… Once (I have no tangible merits to fall back on so here’s my inner Yoda monologue)

    “IN CASE AFTER CASE”… Twice (I heard this somewhere)

    “IN A SERIES OF CASES”… Thrice (I heard this from friends who heard this from somewhere)

    “IT IS BELIEVED THAT”… I think (I’ve known my friends a long, long time)

    “IT IS GENERALLY BELIEVED THAT”… A couple of others think so, too. (I just found out my friends don’t know shit so I’m balling this one out)

    “CORRECT WITHIN AN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE”… Wrong. (I know this is wrong but I can’t make my argument without it so here’s my inner Shamwow Man to wow you)

    “ACCORDING TO STATISTICAL ANALYSIS”… Rumor has it. (Only $9.99/month if you call now. Operators are standing by)

    “A STATISTICALLY-ORIENTED PROJECTION OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THESE FINDINGS”… A wild guess. (Let me be clear)

    “A CAREFUL ANALYSIS OF OBTAINABLE DATA”… Three pages of notes were obliterated when I knocked over a glass of Mountain Dew. (It’s not like there isn’t more obtainable data available but the ones we cherry-picked for you are soooo much nicer. Oh look!!! Unicorns and rainbows!)

    “IT IS CLEAR THAT MUCH ADDITIONAL WORK WILL BE REQUIRED BEFORE A COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING OF THIS PHENOMENON OCCURS”… I don’t understand it (We love the fact that we’re screwing you big time and you won’t know it until long after we’re done. But if you look up “gullible”, you’ll find out how stupid we really think you are)

    “AFTER ADDITIONAL STUDY BY MY COLLEAGUES”… They don’t understand it either. (My party has useful troglodytes just like yours)

    “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. (It’s okay to anonymize men as “Blotz” but try that on a woman and you’ll be seeing the business end of nine inch nails the rest of your life. We learned that from these discussions)

    “A HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT AREA FOR EXPLORATORY STUDY”… A totally useless topic selected by my committee. (You’ll need to re-elect us before we finish the job. But we probably won’t finish it then either)

    “IT IS HOPED THAT THIS STUDY WILL STIMULATE FURTHER INVESTIGATION IN THIS FIELD”… I quit. (The only thing we really did was use our funding for beer so get ready to pay through the nose again because even though we just proved we’re totally useless idiots who don’t know shit, we’re taking taxpayers’ money anyway and yes, we’d really like some more please)

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