New Vocabulary

22Sep11

I am starting my short tour of the US under my post-doc fellowship this week. So far it has already been educational and I have learned two things:

  • tautological. (v) More trivial than trivial: it is a tautology. E.g., “I worked all afternoon proving this lemma but when I told it to my advisor he said it was trivial. Then when he told it to his old advisor he pointed out it was actually tautological.”
  • BibLaTeX. (n) This one is less likely to come up in an actual conversation in English. If you use the \LaTeX typesetting program, you probably have used the BibTeX bibliography management program too. Intuitively, just as \LaTeX is a much newer and easier-to-use derivative of \TeX, so is BibLaTeX an offspring of BibTeX. I found it because I wanted a bibliography to look a certain way (sort order, citation style, bibliography style, change “References” header to something else, etc) and it seems like a pretty comprehensive way to do this while avoiding extensive hackery.
Here is an example of using both.

What fabric should we use to manufacture this new line of baby bibs, sir?

Well, Smith, I hardly suppose fabric is a good idea, since these things will get covered in baby food. Nobody likes a crusty baby. Better make them out of bibplastic or biblatex. In fact it’s a pretty tautological idea and you didn’t think of it? You’re fired, Smith.

Very well, sir.



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