Dec 22 2010

My PhD is going to be magical

Mom: She’s visiting from Seattle, where she’s getting her PhD.
Random Guy: Oh? What are you studying?
Me: Genome Sciences.
Guy: Oh yeah? The really small stuff, right?
Me: Well, I guess it’s really small…
Guy: Do they wear hats too?
Me: …genome, like genetics. Not gnomes.

Mom: So your program is officially called Genome Sciences? Why not Genetics?
Me: Well, genomics is more holistic… Sort of bigger picture.
Mom: I’ll remember that name by thinking of gnomes wearing G-strings!
Me: …sometimes I wonder what goes on in your brain.

Now you know where I get it from.


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  1. 1

    Are people really that unfamiliar with the term “genome”? The mind boggles.

  2. 2

    The fact that someone would equate the two in a conversation where they don’t even really sound alike is mind boggling.

  3. 3
    Kevin Jones

    What’s impressive is apparently some people pronounce gnome as ‘jee-nohm’.

  4. 4
    Riz Siemens

    I think the “gee” came from “gee-string”, not gee-nohm. You know.. Gnomes wearing G-strings.. G-Gnomes.. I don’t know, I wouldn’t have equated the two but I can KINDA see it I guess :P

  5. 5
    Ian Andreas Miller

    G-String Gnome Plan:Phase 1: Collect G-StringsPhase 2: ?Phase 3: Profit

  6. 6

    You should’ve said, “No, G-gnome, as in gangsta gnomes!”

  7. 7

    No no, “genomes” are gnomes that are tuned to G major.

  8. 8
    Akshay Bist

    Ah man, I wish you had told him you did experiments on the small hat wearing people & taken it from there. Would’ve made for a much more interesting conversation to read

  9. 9
    Sam Barnett-Cormack

    Ahhhh… mothers. Mine makes baffling comments when I try to explain things, as well. Actually, that happens less now that we’re both studying the same subject.

  10. 10

    So you’re a guh-nome?

  11. 11
    Amanda Justice

    Your mom is awesome.

  12. 12

    I love that people think you can get a PhD in the science of gnomes. Like, is there really that much to them? Since they don’t exist except in garden statuary?

  13. 13

    hahaha, thats just … funny :)

  14. 14
    Cara Stein

    I love that plus the assumption that she’d be getting a PhD in it but still not know how to pronounce “gnome” correctly.

  15. 15
    Brian Westley

    Goblin engineering is better than gnome!

  16. 16

    People are often impressed when I tell them I’m a nanologist… only because they don’t know what the hell it means.

  17. 17
    Richard Girvan

    I like making up words too.

  18. 18
    Kevin Jones

    I was actually going to bring in ‘Gnu’ but decided the one line was sufficient. G-string didn’t even enter my English degree mind as I don’t consider them the same thing. Then again, ever since i-Pad, i-Phone and i-Tunes, I guess the rules may have changed for pronunciation of unknown words.Which then makes me think of Un-i-Corn and the question “Is there an i-Corn?”

  19. 19

    It’s not made up (at least not by me). It’s the title given to a collector of gnomes.

  20. 20

    Well it’s probably just a stilted academic pronunciation that is more “correct” than the common pronunciation of the word, “gnome.” You know, tomato, tomah-to.

  21. 21
    Dwight Towers

    Does Gnome Chomsky have anything to do with this?

  22. 22

    Well, if you can get advanced degrees in theology, why not gnomology. If you do it right, in 2000 years no one will know that you actually made it up.

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