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No discipline is ever requisite to force attendance upon lectures which are
really worth the attending.
-- Adam Smith, "The Wealth of Nations"
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No matter who you are, some scholar can show you the great idea you had
was had by someone before you.
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No wonder you're tired! You understood so much today.
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Normally our rules are rigid; we tend to discretion, if for no other reason
than self-protection. We never recommend any of our graduates, although we
cheerfully provide information as to those who have failed their courses.
-- Jack Vance, "Freitzke's Turn"
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Not only is this incomprehensible, but the ink is ugly and the paper
is from the wrong kind of tree.
-- Professor, EECS, George Washington University
I'm looking forward to working with you on this next year.
-- Professor, Harvard, on a senior thesis.
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`O' LEVEL COUNTER CULTURE
Timewarp allowed: 3 hours. Do not scrawl situationalist graffiti in the
margins or stub your rollups in the inkwells. Orange may be worn. Credit
will be given to candidates who self-actualise.
(1) Compare and contrast Pink Floyd with Black Sabbath and say why
neither has street credibility.
(2) "Even Buddha would have been hard pushed to reach Nirvana squatting
on a juggernaut route." Consider the dialectic of inner truth
and inner city.
(3) Discuss degree of hassle involved in paranoia about being sucked
into a black hole.
(4) "The Egomaniac's Liberation Front were a bunch of revisionist
ripoff merchants." Comment on this insult.
(5) Account for the lack of references to brown rice in Dylan's lyrics.
(6) "Castenada was a bit of a bozo." How far is this a fair summing
up of western dualism?
(7) Hermann Hesse was a Pisces. Discuss.
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"OK, now let's look at four dimensions on the blackboard."
-- Dr. Joy
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OK, so you're a Ph.D. Just don't touch anything.
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One cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs -- but it is amazing
how many eggs one can break without making a decent omelette.
-- Professor Charles P. Issawi
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Periphrasis is the putting of things in a round-about way. "The cost may be
upwards of a figure rather below 10m#." is a periphrasis for The cost may be
nearly 10m#. "In Paris there reigns a complete absence of really reliable
news" is a periphrasis for There is no reliable news in Paris. "Rarely does
the 'Little Summer' linger until November, but at times its stay has been
prolonged until quite late in the year's penultimate month" contains a
periphrasis for November, and another for lingers. "The answer is in the
negative" is a periphrasis for No. "Was made the recipient of" is a
periphrasis for Was presented with. The periphrasis style is hardly possible
on any considerable scale without much use of abstract nouns such as "basis,
case, character, connexion, dearth, description, duration, framework, lack,
nature, reference, regard, respect". The existence of abstract nouns is a
proof that abstract thought has occurred; abstract thought is a mark of
civilized man; and so it has come about that periphrasis and civilization are
by many held to be inseparable. These good people feel that there is an almost
indecent nakedness, a reversion to barbarism, in saying No news is good news
instead of "The absence of intelligence is an indication of satisfactory
-- Fowler's English Usage