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I think that when people discuss a "learning curve," they're not thinking of
a chart, but of a combination of a curve in the road and a steep hill. So
if a new employee cannot navigate the "steep learning curve," then the
employee will careen off the cliff of ignorance.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+lauren=writeco -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+lauren=writeco -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> ] On Behalf Of Ned Bedinger
> Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2008 5:17 PM
> To: Fred Ridder
> Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Re: Actionable
> Fred Ridder wrote:
> > Nancy Allison wrote:
> >> When did this word go from meaning "subject to or
> affording ground for an
> >> action or suit at law" to "something that can be acted on"?
> >> My 1981 Webster's Collegiate Dictionary provides only the
> first definition.
> > Mathematicians cannot figure the general public's theft of
> their parameter;
> > musicians tootle that their crescendo does not mean
> ''climax''; chemists react
> > to the rip-off of their carbon-based organic. Now lawyers,
> like Hamlet, have
> > lost the name of actionable. Sue me.
> You and Safire forgot to mention the #1 ripoff of the century: the
> learning curve. May I?
> Psychologists tear their hair and shred their clothes over the
> arrogation of their learning curve. In science, the graph of
> a learning
> curve has time as the x axis, and a quantification of
> learning as the y
> axis. Try it.
> | /
> Learning | /
> | /
> A steep learning curve means that as time passes, the amount
> of learning
> grows quickly.
> A graphic expression meaning "It is hard to learn" would be a
> flatter or
> more shallow learning curve.
> So Why o Why does every fool in the world use the epithet "steep
> learning curve" to mean "It is hard to learn?" It means "Easy
> to learn".
> Every time someone says steep to mean shallow, I feel like hollering
> "Sit down and shut up, fool."
> I worry that some invisible policy maker will take all the misspoken
> complaints about things being too hard, and judge us to be a society
> that likes work to be really really really hard, and make it so.
> Frankly, I worry that this has already happened, and will continue
> happening until people stop misspeaking about the learning curve.
> Ned Bedinger "Oops, took the wrong pill."
> doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com
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