by syaffolee

What Did You Say?

The subject of pronouncing scientific jargon came up more than once today. Perhaps it was just coincidence, but it started me thinking–especially one student’s comment that indicated in no uncertain terms that she thought one instructor was an idiot for not knowing how to say a particular scientific term. I don’t agree with her assessment because of one caveat: the instructor’s field of specialization was not the same as the field from which the term came from. Would you completely dismiss someone because he was a chemist who didn’t know how to pronounce an obscure physics term or a psychologist flubbing the enunciation of some genetics vocab? It’s like a non-native speaker’s attempt at English–sure, they’re going to make mistakes because they’re not familiar with all the nuances. But they’ll learn–and that’s sufficient reason for not getting angry or annoyed because they don’t have things down the first time around.