Hire him

And the student who simplified a subject by writing about it “in Lehman’s terms” baffled Iain Woodhouse, senior lecturer in the School of Geosciences at the University of Edinburgh, until he read the phrase aloud (“layman’s terms” was intended).

Here is further information on recent student bloopers.


i was tutoring an MBA a couple months ago, and I heard she asked me to explain what is the "natural logarithm function in Lehman's terms", so I decided to explain it with apples and oranges, and giving simple examples. She seemed satisfied with the explanation, and we moved on. I really could not believe that Lehman would be a commonly used adjective, but it made a lot of sense....
only today I am coming to realize that she may have asked for "layman's terms".

At the end of the first semester in my final year of work as a public school teacher some years ago, I discovered an identification item on a seventh-grade social studies exam that read: "Fire skates ascended out of the Skyscraper State" ("Skyscraper State"--you know, the Empire State--was underlined for students to make the correct ID of "New York"). This test item was composed by one of my fellow teachers, duly accredited and licensed (the same exam from the same teacher recorded the following as a "True" statement: "Italy is the capital of Rome"); and while some of those I shared this with marveled that "fire skates" should be said to "ascend", I never quite got past the initial appellation for those metal staircases on the sides of tall buildings intended for evacuating people during an emergency.
I've entertained no compelling belief in the institution of public education since that time.

Something about "fire skates" really hurts my brain.

fire skates: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r16u66gzkNs

Can someone explain this weekend's financial crisis in Lehman's terms?

The classic work on this subject is Amsel Greene, *Pullet Surprises*: http://www.amazon.com/Pullet-surprises-Amsel-Greene/dp/B0007DUKVE

That was the title of my long-abandoned blog!


Actual happening: I was introduced to a new co-worker by my officemate. I asked the newcomer's name. The conversation went as follows:

"I'm Cawww!"
I'm sorry, what?
Your name is ...?
"Caww! Caww!"

He sounded like an eagle.

Finally, the officemate chimed in and said, "Silas, his name is Carl."

In her essay, a student of mine wrote convincingly of the delicious taste of naval oranges. After college she accepted a well-paying job with Disney.

Slightly on a different note; but I was amazed by the number of Chemical Engineering sophomores that thought it was mathematically ok to use

a/b + a/c = a/(b+c)

The first few times I thought it was a slip; but no. They actually consciously used this a lot. Great fun being a TA.

The funniest blooper was this group of students which for their Design project calculated the height of a distillation column as 1800 metres.

My favorite was in one of my college roommate's random bluebooks strewn about his room. Very first sentence included the term: "perverbial"

He was a religion major. He's a PhD now.

That's an eggcorn: http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/

I was assigned to write a speech for my boss who was roasting a bank CEO named Rich Lehmann. "Rich, yeah, great name for a banker. But he has a daughter named Penny and a son named Ira." Depending on the audience, the next line was a cat or stepchild named Nicholas (nickel-less).

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