Re: Learning Curve

Subject: Re: Learning Curve
From: Michael Johnson <michaelj -at- OECMED -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 5 May 1998 09:05:52 -0600

Webster's New World College Dictionary (Third Edition, p. 769) defines a learning curve as:

1. the time required to learn certain information, acquire certain skills, etc.
2. the rate of progress in such learning represented on or as if represented on a graph.

See? Not even the most astute lexicographers know what to make of the term mathematically. That leads me to believe it was invented by a non-mathematician, probably a marketing guy using Word 6.0 to write an overdue brochure late on a hot, sweaty Wednesday afternoon a few summers ago, right after his art disappeared for the third time.

I'll bet goofy metaphors like this fog things up especially well for ESL folks. Our readers should be able to put away their graphing calculators and get on with the narrative.

Mike Johnson
Speaking for myself, and not OEC Medical Systems
Salt Lake City, Utah
Michaelj -at- oecmed -dot- com

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