July 14, 2006 12:13 PM   Subscribe

so i'm in this email chat with a new grad school colleague who seems awful smart, and she just unloaded this one on me: "dantean stillnuovistics" nothing on google. nothing on wiki. nothing on anybody know what the hell this could possibly be referring to? (yeah, i get the Dante part).
posted by milkman to Society & Culture (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Does this help?
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:18 PM on July 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

Maybe a typo on her part?
posted by driveler at 12:18 PM on July 14, 2006

Yes, don't assume "too smart for me" before you assume "typo"!
posted by occhiblu at 12:19 PM on July 14, 2006

Or even better...
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:20 PM on July 14, 2006

I make it a habit of asking questions about things I don't know. Would it maybe impress her to ask her directly? Besides, if someone thinks you're stupid because you ask questions, aren't they kind of an asshole to begin with?
posted by interrobang at 12:23 PM on July 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: thanks everyone for your help...

especially the part about how to live my life. i never would have thought of asking her directly.
posted by milkman at 12:28 PM on July 14, 2006 [3 favorites]

I think the assumption is that if you had thought of asking her directly, you would have considered that before making use of ask metafilter resources.
posted by vacapinta at 1:11 PM on July 14, 2006

She is waiting for the term to show up on Google so she knows where you go when you have an important question.

Invariably, she will be impressed. ;)
posted by trevyn at 1:16 PM on July 14, 2006

Best answer: Wow, that reminds me of why I didn't go to grad school. 90ish percent of grad students and professors can't write clearly and instead use big words. "Dantean stillnouvistics"? Sheesh.

But if anyone is too lazy to click on the links, the email writer was referring to the "Dolce Stil Nuovo" ("New Sweet Style"), a style of poetry pioneered by Dante and Guido Guinizelli, featuring a new refinement and subtlety and describing female beauty in terms similar to those used to describe the divine.
posted by lackutrol at 1:38 PM on July 14, 2006

I think the assumption is that if you had thought of asking her directly, you would have considered that before making use of ask metafilter resources.

That was exactly my thinking. I guess the poster must have asked her what the phrase meant, and she wouldn't tell him.
posted by interrobang at 2:43 PM on July 14, 2006

More odd if you don't ask, isn't it, if someone drops a bloated bit like that?
posted by uni verse at 3:47 PM on July 14, 2006

Um, maybe he doesn't want to look ignorant in front of his "new grad school colleague who seems awful smart"? Is that so terrible? Jesus, you people are hardass. When I was in grad school, I hated admitting ignorance to my cohort, too. Now that I'm grizzled, I embrace my ignorance. In a totally nonsexual way, that is. My ignorance and I are just good friends.
posted by languagehat at 5:50 PM on July 14, 2006 [1 favorite]

I second languagehat--it seems totally understandable that someone who's a little intimidated by a new colleague would go to AskMe on the side so they didn't seem uninformed. (Even if that's not the approach that the more worldly among us would take.)

milkman's later comment seemed to make that perfectly clear. Just ask her. (Just make sure to do it in a way that doesn't seem like your being snarky and correcting her spelling.)
posted by LairBob at 8:24 PM on July 14, 2006

Next time you see her ask her about her research, hows it going, what references and sources she uses. Or just not care. There are a few ultra competitive freaks in grad school, they always try to one up others.
posted by maxpower at 5:10 AM on July 15, 2006

Response by poster: um. ok.

i'm really actually enjoying the total lack of clarity regarding the intended seriousness/sarcasm of the last 10 posts or so.

but. for the record:

she was spending the day driving to connecticut to visit her parents, and was therefore out of email contact. i was interested in another point she was making about her research and wanted to better understand what she was talking about.

both my colleague and i -- though we certainly have our share of neurocies and idiosyncracies -- are reasonably well socialized folks who get invited to parties and go on dates and have, by this point in our academic careers, largely gotten over being embarassed about asking questions.

thank you all, though, for taking such interest and concern in my personal and emotional growth.
posted by milkman at 9:16 AM on July 15, 2006

Wow, for someone who's in Grad School and "well socialized [...] who get[s] invited to parties and go[es] on dates and ha[s] [...] largely gotten over being embarassed about asking questions", you're awefully defensive about this.

Where this thread goes is under your control, You can either A) get defensive and feed the fire, which makes you look like an Ass, or B) have a little humor, explain why it's not an option to ask her and why it's imperative that you know this (without being snarky), then actually ADD to the discussion, by saying adding a little bit of context?

You haven't marked an answer, and you haven't suggested whether or not anyone may be on the right track... Your snarks are the reason this thread derailed.

(and for the record, I'm interested in the answer, hence why I'm bothering to try to get this thread back on track)
posted by hatsix at 11:33 AM on July 15, 2006

(p.s. It's all about Karma, nobody really checks before they make a comment, but once you Snark, people will realize that you've asked 10 questions, and posted 10 answers, but that all but two of your "answers" are on your own questions.)
posted by hatsix at 11:38 AM on July 15, 2006

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