Friday, November 12, 2010

Nuclear fiction

Conversation last night:

Mr E Man: "I was really enjoying that show I was watching before we went out"

Me: "Oh, it was a show? I thought it was a movie"

Mr E Man: "Yeah, it was a movie"

Me: "Oh right, I keep forgetting that you guys [movie industry people] call movies shows. It's very confusing sometimes"

Mr E Man (in his best fake-patronising voice): "Well, you've only known me eight years. Maybe in another decade or so you'll stop being confused"

Me: "Well you must get confused sometimes too! Like, like, when I say genome when I mean exome!"

Mr E Man: "I'm never confused. I always know exactly what you mean"

Me: "What's an exome, then?"

Mr E Man (confidently, without a hint of hesitation): "It's the part of the genome that's outside the nucleus"

Me: "..."

Me: "That was such a great answer that I almost want to tell you it's true"

Confidence, kids! That's the secret to successful bullshitting!


  1. Very cute! You've got him well trained.

  2. I think they are looking for a high-level administrator at my institution... I am sure they can make him a competitive offer. We only want the best, when it comes to bs.

  3. Like one of my old prof's said:

    If you can't dazzle them with your brilliance, baffle them with your bullshit.

    Part of that means delivering the bullshit in as confident a manner as you are able.

  4. Thomas, absolutely. I've yet to master that trick, but maybe Mr E Man will teach me!

    Nina, plausibility is another key ingredient! It really was an outstandingly good guess!

  5. My friend's husband went along with her to a meeting once. He went to the poster session and pretended he was an ecologist. I guess he had picked up enough from my friend that he was pretty convincing, even though he said he was in a somewhat different subfield from her. For some reason, this irritated me more than it made me laugh.

    Incidentally, my parents call movies "shows", especially when they go to a cinema.

  6. Woods or bush?
    Car or auto?
    Always speak with the utmost confidance. If you get caught you can always apologize later after you've made a complete fool of yourself.

  7. Um. What is an exome? The genome of an extinct species (it is an exome. It has ceased to be).

  8. D.M. McGowan - Tiger or junior :)

    Definitely car or maybe bike?


  9. Eco, well, I found that amusing (sorry!). I guess none of us like to think that the hard-won knowledge we've accumulated over many years can be mimicked so easily!

    You can tel your parents that they're using the insider lingo :)

    Dave, yeah, it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission...

    Bob, I like that one too. It has shuffled off this mortal coil, or rather helix...

    KK, definitely bike!


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