अनिल एकलव्य ⇔ Anil Eklavya

January 27, 2009

Name Dropping

Ignorance has a blessing
And it’s called Name Dropping

When you meet people
Who know less than you
You can just drop Names

And to take care of those
Who know much more
You can drop Name Dropping

 

[2009]

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March 23, 2008

An Example of Gory Details

I have been familiar with the phrase ‘gory details’, as anyone has been who has read newspapers or watched TV.

However, today I saw this phrase with a completely new meaning. It was quite a revelation. This is how it goes:

Even if you have severe constraints on resources due to funding (I sympathize…), I recommend not discussing them in quite as gory detail as you do. A very brief mention of the amount of effort invested to date is sufficient.

Gee, thanks for the sympathy. Now I will be able to run my next project on this great resource.

And these are the gory details (complete and unabridged) to which the above quote refers:

Since x has so far mostly been the result of individual effort and it is a non-funded project being undertaken on part-time basis, there were the most stringent resource (financial, temporal, etc.) constraints.

(Only the names have been changed).

Quite a lesson in Semantics. Or is it Pragmatics? Perhaps both. Great. Very original.

By the way, another lesson I have learnt over the years is that your project is not a project unless it is funded.

Without funding, your work is illegitimate, at least in the research community.

Oops! Sorry for the gory details. Obscene. Vulgar. Indecent. Pervert. Lewd. Salacious. Detestable. Repulsive. Repugnant. Abhorrent.

 

 

(I will add more context for this post later).

March 12, 2008

Beware of Sirring a Nobody

Sirring is a technical term (so what if I have coined it) that means frequently or always addressing someone by an honorific term like ‘sir’. So, if you keep addressing someone as ‘sir’ or ‘mam’ etc., you are sirring them.

You have to know when sirring is a positive and recommended practice and when it’s not.

For example, sirring someone is a positive and recommended practice if that someone happens to be, well, Someone. Not just Anyone. And a Someone is a person, as you might know, who has some power over you or has a higher designation than your’s or has more money than you do or, in general, is materially superior (socially, financially, politically etc.) to you. It’s alright, in fact, it’s highly advisable if you practice sirring with some such materially superior person.

However, sirring can be harmful to you in some cases. For example, you can get into trouble if you practice it with someone who has no power over you, has no more money than you, has no higher designation than you, has no social, economic etc. status higher than you.

Sirring a Nobody is not alright. It’s not recommended. It’s foolish. It’s not part of civilized behavior. Please refrain from it. It might hinder communication with those who really are (materially) Somebodies.

It doesn’t matter if that person knows more than you, is more capable than you, more experienced than you, more (non-materially) accomplished than you.

Sometimes it also doesn’t matter if that someone is older than you.

Or has done much more in life than you.

Or has more publications than you.

A person who could have but hasn’t risen above you materially doesn’t deserve respect. Doesn’t deserve to be addressed by an honorific term.

Unless that person is a saint or a prophet or is, at least, recognized as one.

It’s Pragmatics, stupid!

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