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  #51  
Old 01-26-2012, 03:36 PM
The Second Stone The Second Stone is online now
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Originally Posted by njtt View Post

I actually was once a postdoc at Caltech, and knew...
That makes you the leading SDMB candidate to be Weird Al.
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  #52  
Old 01-26-2012, 10:10 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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This is a pretty accurate description of their work life on the show, even including their supervisor Dr. Gablehauser.
I think Dr. Gablehauser is the department chair, not a group supervisor.
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  #53  
Old 01-26-2012, 10:44 PM
etv78 etv78 is offline
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Indeed? I didn't realize. Well then, to Youtube!!! (cue dramatic music)
I read the end of that in Ranjit's (the chauffeur/cabbie on HIMYM) voice.
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  #54  
Old 01-27-2012, 03:26 AM
njtt njtt is online now
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That makes you the leading SDMB candidate to be Weird Al.

Yankovic? He didn't go to Caltech, at least not according to his Wikipedia page. Or is there some other Weird Al I don't know about.

Anyway, I may be weird, but I am not an Al.
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  #55  
Old 01-27-2012, 08:30 AM
Cayuga Cayuga is offline
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though it would be interesting to find the real math equations that appear in sequential episodes transcribed somewhere.
He's let it lapse recently, but the guy in charge of keeping the science on the show accurate (including putting all the writing on the whiteboards) used to have a blog here:

http://thebigblogtheory.wordpress.com/
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  #56  
Old 01-27-2012, 08:32 AM
Cayuga Cayuga is offline
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OM f'in G. Penny was born when I was starting my senior year of high school.

Where is my walker?!?
Hell, when Penny was born, I had finished college, had a job, been on unemployment, and gotten another job.

And no, you can't have your walker back.
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  #57  
Old 01-27-2012, 08:54 AM
longhair75 longhair75 is online now
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I am getting ready to trace a circuit with a fluke meter that is older than Penny.
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  #58  
Old 01-27-2012, 10:45 AM
johnpost johnpost is online now
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though it would be interesting to find the real math equations that appear in sequential episodes transcribed somewhere.
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Originally Posted by Cayuga View Post
He's let it lapse recently, but the guy in charge of keeping the science on the show accurate (including putting all the writing on the whiteboards) used to have a blog here:

http://thebigblogtheory.wordpress.com/
i recently went (went back) there. the archives start with s02e23. it is a good site.

elsewhere i saw mention of the equation sequence starting in season 1. i don't find how long the step wise sequencing went or any info on seasons 1 and 2 equations.
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  #59  
Old 01-27-2012, 12:15 PM
pancakes3 pancakes3 is offline
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There's also a mention in one episode of a class taught by Sheldon, though it's considered an ordeal to take it (that's one way to get back into his good graces, if you somehow offend him).
i don't think this was meant to be a real academic class via the university but rather shelden has so many personal rules to abide by that if you make infractions, he has a home-made class complete with syllabus and lectures to educate you on the do's and don'ts of shelden cooper.
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  #60  
Old 01-27-2012, 12:19 PM
etv78 etv78 is offline
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Originally Posted by njtt View Post

Yankovic? He didn't go to Caltech, at least not according to his Wikipedia page. Or is there some other Weird Al I don't know about.

Anyway, I may be weird, but I am not an Al.
Seeing this I recognize a ( I didn't recognize the error last nite) I just remembered he went to Poly.
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  #61  
Old 01-27-2012, 12:20 PM
etv78 etv78 is offline
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Originally Posted by JoelUpchurch View Post
In the episode where Sheldon lent Penny money, he stated he didn't spend a lot of his income.
He doesn't cash paychecks.
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  #62  
Old 01-28-2012, 09:09 AM
GreenElf GreenElf is offline
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Is Sheldon officially asperger's or just nerdy?
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  #63  
Old 01-28-2012, 10:52 AM
Justin_Bailey Justin_Bailey is offline
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Is Sheldon officially asperger's or just nerdy?
Officially just nerdy.
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  #64  
Old 01-28-2012, 12:04 PM
mnemosyne mnemosyne is offline
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- hope to get my iron ring in 2011
Hey, did you? I got mine in 2011


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That certainly sounds like the boys, yes. (Except the poorly paid part, for Sheldon - see the earlier reference to his uncashed pay cheques.)

To the OP's original question, despite the actors' ages, I think Sheldon's probably the youngest of the guys, probably closer to Penny's age - he's an insanely high level child prodigy, who seems to have gotten his PhD in his mid-teens, so about 10 years before the others, relatively speaking, but he doesn't seem to have been at the school for that much longer than them, so I'd say he's probably about 5 years younger. (Could go a bit older if his 'visiting faculty' travels went a good long while.)
In the episode where Leonard is telling Penny about how he came to live with Sheldon, it seemed pretty clear to me that Sheldon was already fairly well established in his sparsely-furnished apartment. Did they refer to Sheldon's position at the school in that episode, or mention anything about how long he'd been there?
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  #65  
Old 01-28-2012, 05:29 PM
ftg ftg is offline
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I always assumed they were non-faculty researchers. They never call each other or are referred to as "Professor," so they are clearly not faculty. It's always "Dr." this and "Dr." that, so a professor position is out. Whether or not CalTech actually has non-postdoc, non-faculty research positions, I don't know -- but other institutions do.
A standard research university will have some faculty with research-only duties. Typical titles might be "Research Scientist" or some such. But it gets confusing. One department I worked at had several low level teaching-only flunkies with "Research Scientist" titles. This let the place pay them less, not worry about long term contracts (the money and thus the position could go away rather quickly) with no tenure prospects.

As to the Dr./Prof. nomenclature, it also varies. At my first position I was "Professor", at the next one sometimes "Professor" and sometimes "Doctor" and then at the last one just "Doctor". So I wouldn't go by any of the show's terminology. Especially since they have no idea as to how the real CalTech is run.

But if you're doing research, you will have grad students. They are a must.
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  #66  
Old 01-28-2012, 05:56 PM
BigT BigT is offline
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Originally Posted by Sister Vigilante View Post
Leonard does donate to the sperm bank and the first scene is him waiting for Sheldon to finish (he didn't like the "motivational materials" I believe, so it took him longer). They are doing it so they can have money for dinner. And there is a nerd girl Sheldon had sex with while cosplaying as Spock undergoing Pon Farr.
Definitely not the pilot I saw when they sent me a video and a questionnaire. My parents, who watched it with me, would have freaked.

Did the first pilot even get it picked up? Starting off with frank masturbation jokes doesn't seem to be a winning formula for a sitcom, as they traditionally want a family audience.
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  #67  
Old 01-28-2012, 06:05 PM
etv78 etv78 is offline
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Is Sheldon officially asperger's or just nerdy?
IMO, the reason he's not cannonically asperger's is because th writers don't want to be accussed of "not doing the research".
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  #68  
Old 01-28-2012, 08:33 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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A standard research university will have some faculty with research-only duties. Typical titles might be "Research Scientist" or some such. But it gets confusing. One department I worked at had several low level teaching-only flunkies with "Research Scientist" titles. This let the place pay them less, not worry about long term contracts (the money and thus the position could go away rather quickly) with no tenure prospects.
Most universities will have people with this status, but the usual title for them is "adjunct" or "instructor". Sometimes an adjunct can (with luck) become tenure-track, sometimes they jump around from place to place every few years, and sometimes they just keep getting their contract renewed year after year for an entire career.
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  #69  
Old 01-30-2012, 08:54 AM
Wheelz Wheelz is offline
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IMO, the reason he's not cannonically asperger's is because th writers don't want to be accussed of "not doing the research".
I think you're sort of right, but I'd come at it from another direction: If they officially gave Sheldon Asperger's, they'd be imposing restraints on their own writing. They're going to write the character in whatever way they think is funny or advances the story, and they sure don't need a bunch people saying "A person with Asperger's would never do that!!!!!1!!!11!!!"

I don't blame them.
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  #70  
Old 01-30-2012, 09:37 AM
Happy Lendervedder Happy Lendervedder is offline
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Definitely not the pilot I saw when they sent me a video and a questionnaire. My parents, who watched it with me, would have freaked.

Did the first pilot even get it picked up? Starting off with frank masturbation jokes doesn't seem to be a winning formula for a sitcom, as they traditionally want a family audience.
Huh? I know plenty of sitcoms that don't "want" a family audience.
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  #71  
Old 01-31-2012, 04:56 AM
Meeko Meeko is offline
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Originally Posted by Sitnam View Post
Howard is 28, he's said so quite a few times. I think the rest are in their late 20's.
In a recent episode [This season, IIRC] , in the past two weeks or so, Leonerd comments to Howard: "You are 30 and you live with your Mom."
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  #72  
Old 01-31-2012, 05:56 AM
Cayuga Cayuga is offline
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IMO, the reason he's not cannonically asperger's is because th writers don't want to be accussed of "not doing the research".
I read an interview with one of the producers last year in which he said that Sheldon doesn't have Asperger's because if he did, they'd be making fun of a handicapped person every week.

Basically, it's OK to laugh at someone who's weird, but it's not OK to laugh at someone who suffers from a medical condition and can't help doing what he does.
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  #73  
Old 01-31-2012, 11:22 AM
Sister Vigilante Sister Vigilante is offline
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Definitely not the pilot I saw when they sent me a video and a questionnaire. My parents, who watched it with me, would have freaked.

Did the first pilot even get it picked up? Starting off with frank masturbation jokes doesn't seem to be a winning formula for a sitcom, as they traditionally want a family audience.
I don't think this is the one that got it picked up. As I said it was definitely cringeworthy. I think they revamped the whole thing and made a new pilot, which is what everyone remembers.
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  #74  
Old 01-31-2012, 02:19 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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I read an interview with one of the producers last year in which he said that Sheldon doesn't have Asperger's because if he did, they'd be making fun of a handicapped person every week.

Basically, it's OK to laugh at someone who's weird, but it's not OK to laugh at someone who suffers from a medical condition and can't help doing what he does.
I like the way his mom puts it-- That he's one of God's own special people. I mean, you can tell that she means that sincerely, not in the derogatory sense of "special", but that she also doesn't really have a clue what to do with him.
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  #75  
Old 01-31-2012, 05:37 PM
johnpost johnpost is online now
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I like the way his mom puts it-- That he's one of God's own special people. I mean, you can tell that she means that sincerely, not in the derogatory sense of "special", but that she also doesn't really have a clue what to do with him.
she had him checked out by a shrink.
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  #76  
Old 01-31-2012, 06:45 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is online now
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We don't know much about Leonard's financial situation, but Sheldon is definitely living below his means. There was a plot involving him giving a loan to Penny, and it was made clear that Sheldon has money but doesn't really care about money. It would certainly fit his character to eschew a more expensive apartment when his current dwelling is perfectly adequate for his needs.

And as someone else mentioned, they probably room together more for social than economic reasons.
Also there may be an element here of subverting the common sitcom trope of people living in a disproportionately high style, plus as a prior post mentioned, the writers probably use it as a way to telegraph "nerdy environment". Which as you mention plays well together with the type of character that would feel no rational need to go all GQ/AD on his home environment.
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  #77  
Old 02-01-2012, 02:29 PM
ftg ftg is offline
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The economic situation of Sheldon and Leonard is a mess. Sheldon has repeatedly said that if he could afford to live on his own (and drive) he wouldn't need Leonard.

Yet Sheldon refuses to cash his checks. Which would be more than enough to afford that apartment and other things.

And yet Sheldon does pay for his half of the apartment, going out, eating out, buying high tech toys, etc. Where does that money come from?

It's just a case of the writers don't care and make a joke for the sake of the now.
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  #78  
Old 02-01-2012, 03:19 PM
Justin_Bailey Justin_Bailey is offline
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The economic situation of Sheldon and Leonard is a mess. Sheldon has repeatedly said that if he could afford to live on his own (and drive) he wouldn't need Leonard.
But if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Sheldon can't drive, has no desire to drive, and has no desire to take public transportation. So he needs Leonard or he needs to hire a 24/7 car service. That's the part he can't afford.
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  #79  
Old 02-01-2012, 04:01 PM
JoelUpchurch JoelUpchurch is offline
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But if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Sheldon can't drive, has no desire to drive, and has no desire to take public transportation. So he needs Leonard or he needs to hire a 24/7 car service. That's the part he can't afford.
He would take public transportation, but they won't let him use bungee cords to fasten himself in the seat. I agree with Sheldon. If they require seat belts on air planes then they should require them on buses also.
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  #80  
Old 02-01-2012, 04:54 PM
Drunky Smurf Drunky Smurf is offline
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In a recent episode [This season, IIRC] , in the past two weeks or so, Leonerd comments to Howard: "You are 30 and you live with your Mom."
I remember this too.
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  #81  
Old 02-01-2012, 05:24 PM
Tibby or Not Tibby Tibby or Not Tibby is offline
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OM f'in G. Penny was born when I was starting my senior year of high school.

Where is my walker?!?
OM f'in G. Penny was born 10 years after I started my senior year of high school.

Where is my Dr. Kevorkian?!?
__________________
“Do you believe in such nonsense?” "No, but they say it works even if you don't believe in it.”—Niels Bohr
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  #82  
Old 02-01-2012, 06:59 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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In The Einstein Approximation Leonard says that Sheldon has been emotionally stuck for "about 29 years."

And everyone quit whining about Penny. My kids are older than Penny.
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  #83  
Old 02-03-2012, 02:04 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is online now
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Leonard said that Sheldon was 30 on tonight's show.
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  #84  
Old 02-13-2012, 10:17 AM
Hogfather65 Hogfather65 is offline
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Originally Posted by Sister Vigilante View Post
You guys should watch the original pilot, where they aren't rich PhDs and Leonard and Sheldon sell their sperm for money, and Sheldon has actually had sex. And there's no Howard or Raj.

Jim Parsons is 38 in real life? I got the feeling that since he'd graduated college so early he would be the youngest character.

I've never seen them teach a class although Sheldon has given a lecture before. Leonard mentions that he pretty much sits and thinks about physics all day for grant money. That was in the most recent episode.

Raj is in a rat hole of an apartment and always talking about how awful it is to live in India but apparently he's actually quite rich and grew up in an affluent household.
Saw the pilot - my daughter was disapointed at the thought of Sheldon as a 'Normal' person - she will not watch it because of it.
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  #85  
Old 02-13-2012, 10:20 AM
Hogfather65 Hogfather65 is offline
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Well, the pilot doesn't mention their jobs or education level, they decide to leave the sperm bank without donating, and Howard and Raj do show up. And there's no reference to suggest Sheldon has had sex, although there is a moment where he tries to impress Penny, which I interpreted as he was attracted to her. And he drinks a beer.
there where 2 pilots....
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  #86  
Old 04-26-2012, 12:50 PM
jemima37 jemima37 is offline
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Leonard said tonight "12 years since high school and I'm still sat at the nerd table" if you leave high school at 16 as we do in UK, then it makes him 28




Friends of mine recently called their baby Leonard Sheldon, big fans!
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  #87  
Old 04-26-2012, 01:03 PM
Kimballkid Kimballkid is offline
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Most people in the United States leave high school around 18 so, by that statement, he would be 30. But if he were an exceptional student, he may have graduated earlier.

Last edited by Kimballkid; 04-26-2012 at 01:03 PM..
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  #88  
Old 04-27-2012, 02:03 AM
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Regarding Sheldon's money, there was a scene where Howard opens a drawer and finds numerous uncashed checks. When he asks Sheldon why he hasn't cashed them he is told that the things Sheldon would buy with them haven't been invented yet.

Last edited by movingfinger; 04-27-2012 at 02:04 AM..
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  #89  
Old 04-27-2012, 07:59 AM
Folacin Folacin is offline
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Sheldon presumably cashes a check when he needs the money for something (food, rent, comic books) - but his needs are less than his salary, so he's got a bunch of checks in the drawer.

I am surprised that he isn't using direct deposit, however. Although I guess that would be a change and he doesn't deal well with that. And we wouldn't have the paycheck joke.
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  #90  
Old 04-27-2012, 08:06 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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I always assumed they were non-faculty researchers. They never call each other or are referred to as "Professor," so they are clearly not faculty. It's always "Dr." this and "Dr." that, so a professor position is out. Whether or not CalTech actually has non-postdoc, non-faculty research positions, I don't know -- but other institutions do.
We never referred to my American university professors as "Professor whatever", it was always "Dr whatever" or by firstname. This applies to profs from the Colleges of Sciences and of Engineering. Other end of the country from CalTech.
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  #91  
Old 04-27-2012, 10:05 AM
PaulParkhead PaulParkhead is offline
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Leonard said tonight "12 years since high school and I'm still sat at the nerd table" if you leave high school at 16 as we do in UK, then it makes him 28




Friends of mine recently called their baby Leonard Sheldon, big fans!
Well, a person who has a PhD would not have left school at 16 - you need A-levels to go to college or uni.
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  #92  
Old 04-27-2012, 11:37 AM
The Devil's Grandmother The Devil's Grandmother is offline
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In most American states it is possible for smart people to graduate early, like Doogie Houser. It's not unusual for very smart people to have (multiple) graduate degrees at the age of 20.
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  #93  
Old 04-27-2012, 11:55 AM
jerseymule jerseymule is offline
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I am getting ready to trace a circuit with a fluke meter that is older than Penny.
I still wear some shoes that are older than Penny.
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  #94  
Old 04-27-2012, 03:38 PM
kenetic kenetic is offline
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In most American states it is possible for smart people to graduate early, like Doogie Houser. It's not unusual for very smart people to have (multiple) graduate degrees at the age of 20.
I'd disagree that it's "not unusual", but yes, it is possible to have a PhD (and therefore, a Master's) by 20.
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  #95  
Old 04-27-2012, 04:19 PM
Lust4Life Lust4Life is offline
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When I look at Penny, I knoew exactly how Howard feels normally !
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  #96  
Old 04-27-2012, 04:22 PM
The Devil's Grandmother The Devil's Grandmother is offline
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I'd disagree that it's "not unusual", but yes, it is possible to have a PhD (and therefore, a Master's) by 20.
I'll weasel on the fact that I said it's not unusual for "very smart" people. I've known 7 people who had college degrees before they were 20, and all of them are easily in the "very smart" category.

Last edited by The Devil's Grandmother; 04-27-2012 at 04:23 PM.. Reason: unlike me, who can barely spell
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  #97  
Old 04-27-2012, 07:10 PM
njtt njtt is online now
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We never referred to my American university professors as "Professor whatever", it was always "Dr whatever" or by firstname. This applies to profs from the Colleges of Sciences and of Engineering. Other end of the country from CalTech.
I was a "Postdoctoral Instructor" at Caltech, which meant I taught classes of my own, and my (undergrad) students, somewhat to my discomfiture, insisted on addressing me as "professor".* I did not feel entitled to it, especially as I had come from Britain where only the equivalent of American "full professors" get to be called professor. I would have been much more comfortable being called "Doctor" to which I was proud of being entitled. However, it was clearly not something you could fight. I have taught in other California universities and colleges too, and always been addressed as "Professor" by undergrads even though I was not truly of professorial rank.

In my experience, above the undergraduate (and maybe Master's degree) level things tend to be a lot less formal, and increasingly so as you go up the ranks. Even a doctoral student is likely to address a professor with whom he is acquainted by name, without any title. Only if someone is pretty much a stranger to you, or you are in a particularly formal situation, are you likely to call them Dr. something (or, even more rarely, Professor or Dean, or whatever), as you might call a virtual stranger Mr. something-or-other in other settings. (Although, with certain weird exceptions like British surgeons,** in an academic setting, someone entitled to be called Doctor might be a bit miffed to be called Mister or Ms. I would, in fact. I earned that Ph.D., dammit.)

So certainly in California, but I am fairly sure it is the same throughout the U.S., undergraduates will call any teacher above the rank of T.A. "Professor", but doctoral students on up will mostly use "Doctor," if they are being at all formal (which they often are not).

The fetish made in BBT of calling people Dr., is mainly just part of Sheldon's general weirdness and snobbery. It is not normal academic practice, and I do not think you are meant to think it is.


*Most postdocs are not "Postdoctoral Instructors" however, and I believe most do no teaching at all or only a little, on an occasional basis, helping out an actual professor. Their job is almost entirely research. They do not have undergrad courses of their own and probably will not be routinely called professor by anyone (nor are they entitled to be).

**In Britain, at least, an M.D. (or B.Med.) who qualifies as a surgeon reverts to being called Mister, again. (I am not sure how this works for female surgeons; probably she becomes Ms.) This is considered quite an honour, and a surgeon (surgeons being notoriously prickly) may well resent being addressed as Doctor, even though he is one.

Last edited by njtt; 04-27-2012 at 07:15 PM..
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  #98  
Old 04-27-2012, 08:56 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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I was a "Postdoctoral Instructor" at Caltech, which meant I taught classes of my own, and my (undergrad) students, somewhat to my discomfiture, insisted on addressing me as "professor".* I did not feel entitled to it, especially as I had come from Britain where only the equivalent of American "full professors" get to be called professor. I would have been much more comfortable being called "Doctor" to which I was proud of being entitled. However, it was clearly not something you could fight. I have taught in other California universities and colleges too, and always been addressed as "Professor" by undergrads even though I was not truly of professorial rank.
YMMV. When I was an undergrad, the PhD's were called "Doctor" and everyone else was Mr./Ms., regardless of their place on the faculty hierarchy. Maybe they called each other something else behind closed doors.
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  #99  
Old 04-27-2012, 10:42 PM
dropzone dropzone is offline
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Originally Posted by jemima37 View Post
Friends of mine recently called their baby Leonard Sheldon, big fans!
Just figured out where Lorre got their names, from sitcom god Sheldon Leonard!
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  #100  
Old 04-28-2012, 08:35 AM
njtt njtt is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
YMMV. When I was an undergrad, the PhD's were called "Doctor" and everyone else was Mr./Ms., regardless of their place on the faculty hierarchy. Maybe they called each other something else behind closed doors.
Well, where were you? I am talking specifically about Caltech, which is where BBT is set, and, as I say, undergraduates insisted on using "Professor" even when technically inappropriate. It was a couple of decades ago when I was there, but can vouch for the fact that the same applied at other So Cal institutions, for instance, Cal State L.A., quite recently.

Very few members of the "faculty hierarchy" at any university level institution, will not be Ph.D.s (or some other type of "doctor"), so I am not really sure what you are talking about there. T.A's are not faculty. Arguably, neither are postdoc's.

Last edited by njtt; 04-28-2012 at 08:35 AM..
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