Have you ever noticed that professors never call another professor “a genius”, but regular businessmen (who own a bakery, a winery, a taxicab company, a janitorial supply company, a waste disposal company; welders, machinists, real estate agents, demolitionists) will regularly put up someone they’ve worked with as “a genius”?

  • She’s a genius at marketing.
  • She’s a genius when it comes to working with the county government; she knows all the ins and outs.
  • She’s a genius at design. If it weren’t for her, my store layout would be terrible. Every problem that came up, she had thought of in advance.

Come to think of it, I can’t remember ever hearing any professors use the word “genius”. I think it’s because [a] they think they are geniuses, and [b] they think ‘genius’ is validation. Such a high compliment mustn’t be handed out too lightly.

edit: I may have to amend this claim. Some professors who do not have big egos might use the word “genius” as well. I still contend that academics use it more sparingly than other people.

About isomorphismes

Argonaut: someone engaged in a dangerous but potentially rewarding adventure.
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