As you know, I read a ton of scientific/medical/etc. studies on all sorts of topics, mostly related to myeloma, of course. And I am frequently puzzled by sentences that make no sense (to me). That is why I was very much amused yesterday when I found and read the following list of commonly utilized research phrases and their translation into plain English (see http://tinyurl.com/ydm5ll3 for more on this topic)…:
“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. Wrong. Wrong.
“According to statistical analysis” . . . Rumor has it.
“A statistically oriented projection of the significance of these findings” . . . A really wild guess.
“A careful analysis of obtainable data” . . . Three pages of notes were obliterated when I knocked over a beer glass.
“It is clear that much additional work will be required before a complete understanding of this phenomenon occurs” . . . I don’t understand it, and I never will.
“After additional study by my colleagues” . . . They don’t understand it either.
“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 am pleased to feed you this B.S., and hope you will give me more funding.