Thursday, June 2, 2011

An Advisor to English Dictionary

Part of any working relationship is learning what certain phrases actually mean beyond the direct statement. Below are some of the phrase my advisor uses and their translations.

"We need to meet sooner rather than later": I'm about to double your work load for the next 2 to 6 weeks. You may or may not actually get credit for this.

"I need to think about it": You're going to have to keep nagging me about "it" because it's low on my priority list.

"Soon": yesterday

"Coming up": usually two weeks or less, in reference to "I have a meeting coming up and I need you to do (these things that take longer than two weeks).

"I'm not sure": for a single item, typically means no. If trying to get a sense of priority between two items, it means do both.

"Here is the final version": if you wait another hour, I'll have completely changed my mind about something.

"I'll do it this weekend": I may do it in the next month with sufficient nagging.

DISCLAIMER: every advisor is different. Some translations may not hold for all advisors.

What phrases does your advisor use that can't be taken at face value?

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