I've covered this before, but  DEC 19 1999

I've covered this before, but I ran across this great anecdote in a book I just finished:

   "Richard Feynman, [Murray] Gell-Mann's chief competitor for the title of the World's Smartest Man but a stranger to pretension, once encountered Gell-Mann in the hall outside their offices at Caltech and asked him where he had been on a recent trip; 'Moon-TRAY-ALGH!' Gell-Mann responded in a French accent so thick that he sounded as if he were strangling. Feynman - who, like Gell-Mann, was born in New York City - had no idea what he was talking about. 'Don't you think,' he asked Gell-Mann, when at length he had ascertained that Gell-Mann was saying 'Montreal,' 'that the purpose of language is communication?'"

Think about that the next time you feel the need to use jargon or overly obscure words just for the sake of hearing how smart you sound.


Front page
About + contact
Site archives


Follow kottke.org on Twitter

Follow kottke.org on Tumblr

Like kottke.org on Facebook

Subscribe to the RSS feed


Ads by The Deck

Support kottke.org shop at Amazon

And more at Amazon.com

Looking for work?

More at We Work Remotely

Kottke @ Quarterly

Subscribe to Quarterly and get a real-life mailing from Jason every three months.



Hosting provided EngineHosting