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Uh, Harvard is a good uh school, right?

  1. Sep 23, 2008 #1
    I've got this 8 part lecture series titled "Cosmic Questions" and it is given by Robert Kirshner, Harvard professor. I can hardly handle listening to it, because every other word is uh. I've tried telling myself to just ignore the uhs, but the more I try to ignore them the more they stand out. I'm sure I'd love the lectures if the uhs could be taken out. Does it bother you to uh hear someone who uh talks like uh this?
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  3. Sep 23, 2008 #2
  4. Sep 23, 2008 #3
    I know why it is done, I just find it irritating.
  5. Sep 23, 2008 #4
    "By using supernovae to understand the universe... Einstein's blunder is undone."

    "And for a little while a supernova is about as bright as a billion stars." :eek:

    Wow, didn't know that. Learn something new everyday.

    Actually, this guy is so far is pretty clear in his words. Try listening to some engineering professors I've had, can't understand a word. :rofl:
  6. Sep 23, 2008 #5


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    Once I notice "uhs" it's all I can focus on. So annoying.

    I keep thinking, human dial tone...human dial tone...
  7. Sep 23, 2008 #6
    My professor over simplifies the lecture like "uhh.. you know this stuff .. somewhere along the line"

    He hardly sticks to any terminology which he calls "crap", "stuff", or "this"/"that".
  8. Sep 23, 2008 #7
    His lecture isn't that bad.....................come on now...
  9. Sep 23, 2008 #8


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    Ugh! He sounds like he was figuring out what he was going to say as he went along rather than having thought out his talk in advance! :yuck: I can't stand "uhhs" in lectures, and even worse, when he's not "uhh"ing, he's draaaaaawwwwwing his words out in a very unnatural cadence while seeming to search for words as he's talking.

    People use "uh" a lot when they are uncertain of what they are speaking about...or haven't given it enough thought to have fleshed it out to be fluid. It's especially horrid at the beginning of a talk. If you haven't even gotten your introduction nailed, I can only imagine the rest of the lecture going downhill.
  10. Sep 24, 2008 #9


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    MB makes a good point. Saying uhh alot means that you are unsure of what to say. It gives the impression of being unprepared. As a person whose job it is to lecture, I would expect him to be a better, more prepared speaker.

    Of course, the "uhhs" could just be a bad habit, but that doesn't change people's impressions of the lecture.
  11. Sep 24, 2008 #10
    We have a nobel laureate professor of economics at school. He gave a talk to some physicists in the area of global warming and how economics come into the picture. It was interesting to listen to this old guy talk, as he talked slowly but tried to chose his words carefully. So he would talk.........................and pause for a second as if thinking hard about his next choice of words........................and then continue on with his thoughts. It made what he had to say more dramatic and 'important'.

    Some of the audience was being a bit jackassey by interrupting him and correcting his statements from a physics standpoint. One guy said 'yeah and too much CO2 and its like jupiter...whats your point?' The guy who said this is another professor (I think) younger in his early 40s, but he should have had more courtesy and respect when talking to a distinguished staff member.

    Hey, I found a video of him on youtube (same topic, different place)
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  12. Sep 24, 2008 #11


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    At least he wasn't like, "like" all the time like some of my students, like, are... :rolleyes:
  13. Sep 24, 2008 #12
    Ha! Like totally!! I was walking back from lunch with some fellow grad students today. This girl walked by on her cell phone OHMYGOD talking to her like, friends.....and we could like, totally hear her. So when she passed is I was LIKE TALKING LIKE THIS REAL LOUD SO SHE COULD LIKE, HEAR ME. My friend said (laughing) , 'you know, you're a jerk right?' I just said to him yeahhhhh and shrugged with a big smile.
  14. Sep 24, 2008 #13


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    Uh, like like is uh like really uh worse than like uh...:uhh:
  15. Sep 24, 2008 #14
    I do the same thing when some idiot guys are like....................whoa.......totally talking bro.................what?.....
  16. Sep 24, 2008 #15
    I don't think he was laughing because he thought you were funny.

    Who cares, anyway, if they abuse the filler word 'like' so what?

    We have a lecturer who pauses alot and wastes an incredible amount of time because of it and he also struggles to explain concepts and ideas well. He also does this course yearly, so one would think that with such experience he might have it all down pat.
  17. Sep 25, 2008 #16
    I never said he was, in fact, I explicitly said he was laughing because I was being a jerk.

    Because I respect people who can use the english language.

    Well, thats too bad. We all have classes with people that lecture poorly. But your analogy really does not compare to the lecture I attended becasue he wasnt trying to 'teach' anything to a class, and his pauses were not that long. They were just long enough to have impact. When he would think about his next words carefully, he would do a staring sweep across the room with those eyes of his saying 'im going to finish this pause and talk, and you're going to listen to me'.

    The guy is classic old school. I felt like I was in a classroom from the 1940's as he spoke.
  18. Sep 25, 2008 #17


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    I think it's all better than the ones who talk non-stop and never really get around to saying anything. We have a couple of those in my department. They do the same thing in meetings, which reminds me that I have to ask the chair of our one committee to start putting the agenda items from one of them at the end of the meeting so we can get to all the other things we need to discuss and have a reason to cut him off when he talks too long.
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