Professorial behavior…

FemaleScienceProfessor writes about the absurd use of the word “Professorial” in popular discourse. I support her taking issue with this popular misconception and distortion of the language. It is something I have often found annoying – with people explicitly asking me, “why are you a professor if you think/act this way?”

I wonder if such people have read this book or thought about the issues on which some professors have taken principled stands and been assertively outspoken, e.g., to pick some examples randomly – here, here and here? Of course, I am well aware that the specific examples in FSP’s blog post are the result of, in some sense, intentional misuse in a political context. However, the sentiment seems to persist. For as long as I can remember, too many people have associated professorial with one of two extremes, reflected in FSP’s list – ‘arrogant and condescending’ or ‘reserved and unsocial’. What about the rest of us?!

Incidentally, nobody currently accuses this Professor of acting professorial, and a lot of people don’t even know of his background. Would they, if he ran for higher office?

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