I don't know whether this is a sign of age or just pure nerdliness, but I am seriously enjoying my daughter's freshman English class. Rethinking those books and short stories--even the ones I thought were miserable. It puts a nice little smile in my mind.
So then I had to wonder if math people get excited when their kids break new ground in the world of numbers. Happily, my goofy brother has inadvertantly answered that question by responding to my Facebook poll about favorite required reading by citing his college freshman physics book.
So there you have it. In fairness to myself, however, I am proud to say that this is the first year that I've been shown a math problem with which I couldn't help my 15-year-old daughter. And, in further fairness, I think it may have been one of those, "That's not what we called it in my day" issues.
Diminshing a number? Obviously, I know what "diminish" means. But applied to a number, I didn't know what to do. Surely it had to be more complicated than just making it smaller. By what means? Turns out simple subtraction was the answer.
And I thought it was only literary types who used big words with the sole intent of confusing people.
I think I'll go re-read The Canterbury Tales in Middle English. You know, just to make myself feel smart again.
Well, it's good to know that writers still basically own the market on using big words to sound smart. Check out this headline on msnbc.com and tell me, honestly, if the word schadenfreude is really so commonplace that we can just assume the majority of Internet news readers will know what it means.
I'm just disgusted. The first rule of good communication is to ensure your message is readily understandable by its intended audience.