tim: Mike Slackernerny thinking "Scientific progress never smelled better" (science)
[personal profile] tim
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 21


Suppose you are a researcher and you collaborate with your husband, wife, domestic partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, lover, mistress, gigolo, inamorat{o|a}, sweetie, fuckbuddy, or baby mama. Suppose you are giving an academic talk. Which of the following do you consider reasonable ways to refer to your joint work with your collaborator (named, say, Dana Q. Zygomorphism), when used more than once in the same talk?

View Answers

"In work with my wife..."
3 (14.3%)

"In work with my husband..."
3 (14.3%)

"In work with Dr. Zygomorphism..."
16 (76.2%)

"In work with {Mr.|Ms.} Zygomorphism..."
6 (28.6%)

"In work with Zygomorphism..."
11 (52.4%)

"In work with Dana..."
18 (85.7%)

"In work with my collaborator..." [when credit is given by name in a slide]
17 (81.0%)

Something else
2 (9.5%)

None of the above.
0 (0.0%)

Which of the following phrases would you consider unprofessional to use one or more times during an academic talk (assuming it was true)?

View Answers

"In work with my wife..." [speaker is male]
13 (68.4%)

"In work with my husband..." [speaker is female]
13 (68.4%)

"In work with my wife..." [speaker is female]
13 (68.4%)

"In work with my husband..." [speaker is male]
13 (68.4%)

"In work with my partner..."
10 (52.6%)

"In work with my significant other..."
14 (73.7%)

"In work with my boyfriend..."
18 (94.7%)

"In work with my girlfriend..."
18 (94.7%)

"In work with my girlfriend's other boyfriend..."
18 (94.7%)

"In work with my friend with benefits..."
18 (94.7%)

"In work with my gay lover..."
17 (89.5%)

"In work with the mother of my children..."
18 (94.7%)

"In work with the person with whom I have sexual intercourse on a regular basis..."
18 (94.7%)

"In work with my partner in a full-time BDSM relationship..."
17 (89.5%)

"In work with your mom..."
13 (68.4%)

None of the above
0 (0.0%)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-31 09:54 pm (UTC)
luinied: The Twilight Rune (Default)
From: [personal profile] luinied
I would use either "Dana" or "Dana Zygomorphism" in a talk; just a last name is too distant for anyone I've actually worked with, in my opinion. I don't really see anything wrong with "my collaborator", but it does sound awkward, and I can't imagine really saying it in any setting if I only have one collaborator.

And I'm defining "unprofessional" very broadly, in the sense that it gives me a "wait, why was that relevant?" reaction, not in the sense I think the speaker should lose their membership in professional organizations. I'd let "partner" slide because it can refer to business partners and such, so it's less disruptive even if it does mean romantic/sexual partner in this case, although I still wouldn't use it myself. And obviously "your mom" jokes are appropriate in any professional context.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-31 10:00 pm (UTC)
etb: trolleybus in Seattle (blue and yellow trolleybus)
From: [personal profile] etb
The acceptable pattern I'm trying to convey within your oppressive checkboxes is "Dana Zygomorphism" the first time, and then "Dana". Using first-last repeatedly is also acceptable.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-31 10:04 pm (UTC)
etb: (dynamitage)
From: [personal profile] etb
"{Dr.|Mr.|Ms.|Sen.|HRH} Zygomorphism" is maybe reasonable—I wouldn't go bolt upright and stare at the speaker as if their head had just exploded—but I wouldn't do it. If I have to distinguish people who have the same surname (whether they have that for some legitimate reason, or because of name-taking) I'd use first + last.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-31 10:37 pm (UTC)
ext_36143: (Default)
From: [identity profile] badasstronaut.livejournal.com
Funnily enough, while I think I wouldn't feel okay about referring to "my wife (or similar)", I have collaborated with my sister and we've co-presented at a conference once, and it was sort of fun that it was a family venture. Also, in NZ education circles (it's a small community) there are two brothers, both educational historians, and people do refer to them in the field as the O brothers.

Maybe it feels less of a big deal to refer to the relationship when it's not a relationship that's about fucking.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-31 10:48 pm (UTC)
ext_36143: (Default)
From: [identity profile] badasstronaut.livejournal.com
Well, quite, but going by what people would typically expect.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-31 10:53 pm (UTC)
ext_36143: (Default)
From: [identity profile] badasstronaut.livejournal.com
In New Zealand, probably not because enough people know who everyone is, and back then there wasn't gay marriage. However, we both have our names on an article out there, so who knows what people think when they see it?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-03-31 11:41 pm (UTC)
corvi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] corvi
Also depends on how formal the "academic talk" is. If I was giving a talk to the distributed NW computer science department - a group made of CS professors at liberal arts schools who don't have large enough CS departments to support research properly so we all read papers and do presentations with each other, I might say "my girlfriend," but it's an oddly informal group sometimes.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-01 01:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wkfauna.livejournal.com
If I shared the same last name as my spouse I might clarify by saying "in work with Dana Zygomorphism" instead of just "Zygomorphism", because that might be awkward for the audience and I might lose some of them for a few minutes while they mull it over.

Also, in a job interview of doom I kept referring to "my partner" with whom I had started a company and built a website, and the senior interviewer had the gall to ask me "and by partner, I'm just curious, you mean...?".

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-01 08:14 pm (UTC)
juli: hill, guardrail, bright blue sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] juli
and the senior interviewer had the gall to ask me "and by partner, I'm just curious, you mean...?".

I got that from a guy who was trying to recruit me to work in his group at a job I had once. I later found out he was quite notorious for being rather a homophobe.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-01 05:39 am (UTC)
autumnus: A purple monochrome portrait of Zoe from Dreamfall, with drawn stars in background and "the Dreamer" written on bottom. (Default)
From: [personal profile] autumnus
Calling the person with first name when talking works most naturally. That is what you would call them when you address them. Sometimes Dr. lastname can be used especially if the other person will not recognize him/her with by firstname but it is very awkward. I would personally prefer calling my collaborator Dr. firstname lastname, followed by firstname in subsequent mentions. I think calling them just "my collaborator" is weird but then again depends on which way the sentence is going.

I think that husband, wife and partner might be okay-ish depending on some situations since it could be a minor slip on a person's part but anything past that is definitely TMI.

note: edited for English fail :P

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-01 10:44 pm (UTC)
autumnus: A purple monochrome portrait of Zoe from Dreamfall, with drawn stars in background and "the Dreamer" written on bottom. (Default)
From: [personal profile] autumnus
marriage (or civil union) is an official thing, and at least in theory, has aspects of being publicly known and permanency, while gf/bf or any other variations do not. It is not TMI for that reason (as in you cannot really cannot be discreet about being married, it is there :P) It might be my language confusion but I see the word "partner" as a gender neutral way to indicate a husband or wife (as one of its meanings) and in that context that too is okay.

Hope this makes sense?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-01 10:46 pm (UTC)
autumnus: A purple monochrome portrait of Zoe from Dreamfall, with drawn stars in background and "the Dreamer" written on bottom. (Default)
From: [personal profile] autumnus
I really cannot formulate sentences, that much is clear. :P

*as in you really cannot be discreet...

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-02 05:59 am (UTC)
autumnus: A purple monochrome portrait of Zoe from Dreamfall, with drawn stars in background and "the Dreamer" written on bottom. (Default)
From: [personal profile] autumnus
cultural norms and the way the words are used. When you say boyfriend people still think something non-permanent, even through you might be using that word for lack of a better term. (and yes, a lot of this is based on tradition, culture and ideas that are outdated and we really need vocabulary to describe non-monogamous relationships)

and about why you can't be discreet about marriage? because then they will wonder why you hide it. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-01 07:12 am (UTC)
miang: Miang Hawwa (with Opiomorph), Xenogears: May God's love be with you (and there's nothing I can do). (dilandau - burn)
From: [personal profile] miang
I personally would stick with Dana, if only because Dr. Zygomorphism may not aide in disambiguation.

I stared at the second question and its set of responses for a good long while before realizing my issue is that I still haven't found a way to refer to one's unmarried romantic partner that feels as natural and non-suggestive as 'husband'/'wife'. That sucks.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-01 05:58 pm (UTC)
miang: Edward, Infinite Undiscovery: Fallen in deep, slow, silent sleep: the once and future king. (edward - kolton)
From: [personal profile] miang
I think it's somewhere closer to being socialized to divorce (heh) the idea of sexuality from the idea of marriage: all those old sitcom tropes about how the sex stops the minute you walk in the door after the honeymoon. (Semi-relatedly: I get highly weirded out when friends and colleagues discuss honeymoon plans but not wedding plans, likely for the same reason.) Whereas we're socialized to believe marriage is a foundation of family and home and other G-rated topics, we're also taught that the difference between dating/partnered and "just friends" is the sex. (Well, at least those of us who learned about this stuff before friends-with-benefits gained common usage.) Obviously this is highly problematic in and of itself, but that's a separate topic.

For my sake at least, I honestly haven't found a term that isn't bothersome to me in some way. I generally refer to [personal profile] tcdohl as my boyfriend, despite cringing at what I perceive to be the immaturity of that label. But "partner" feels like a business transaction, "significant other" takes too long to spit out and feels awkward in conversation, "SO" is shorter but still feels awkward, and yeah, not touching the rest of those descriptors with a borrowed, latex-wrapped pole. (Obligatory exception for your mom.)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-01 08:53 pm (UTC)
luinied: Extra! Break the eggshell! Have you heard? (collected)
From: [personal profile] luinied
Have you tried "main squeeze"?

...actually, we may have had this conversation before, and I seem to recall you not liking any of my ideas.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-01 11:56 am (UTC)
naath: (Default)
From: [personal profile] naath
I think that Dr/Prof Bar, Dr/Prof Foo Bar, Dr/Prof F. Bar, F. Bar, Bar, and, Foo would all be ways I'd expect to hear used to refer to an academic. The other options whilst all valid in casual conversation seem to me to be irrelevant and potentially confusing (which of the collaborators is your wife?).

Mr/Mrs Bar is entirely unacceptable of they are a Dr or a Prof, but acceptable if they do not.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-02 12:52 am (UTC)
etb: (latin stun maths)
From: [personal profile] etb
"Dr." isn't as jarring as "Prof." (Tim may remember the wave of tittering after some student said "Professor Harper" during the ML Workshop panel), but it strikes me as superfluous—and a strange inversion of formality, since a talk is (at most) as formal as a paper, and no one uses titles in papers.

(Mrs. and Miss should be entirely unacceptable, period.)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-01 05:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anemone.livejournal.com
If the last name is shared (married, siblings, parent/child), I don't think it unprofessional to mention the relationship once.

After that, I'd refer to them as any other co-author (firstname, last name, whatever is usually used).

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-28 07:17 pm (UTC)
winterkoninkje: shadowcrane (clean) (Default)
From: [personal profile] winterkoninkje
If the audience is already familiar with your partner, your relationship with them, and with you and your partner as academics (both jointly and separately), then it's fine to introduce them as your "wife/husband/boyfriend/..." and then refer to them by name thereafter. I've been in situations where that'd be acceptable, but it definitely requires the audience's independent awareness of your partner as an upstanding academic in their own right. Without that, referring to them by anything other than their name is to minimize their involvement--- which can be appropriate if they truly are a "collaborator". Referring to them by any non-work relationship is demeaning, and a horrific throwback to the Victorian era where women's involvement in science had to be "blessed" by some male superior.

As for the format of using names, I generally disapprove of using common titles (Mr, Ms, Mrs, Miss,...) in any context that isn't strictly formal. I'm fine with military titles, but they wouldn't feel appropriate in an academic setting. Religious and noble titles should be used as a proper sign of respect, but they are rather rare these days. In general, the first time you introduce a name to the discussion you should give both first and last name so that people know who you're talking about (this can be elided in casual discussions). And after that, in-group members should be called by their first name, and out-group members by their last name. ...Then again, I've studied far too much Japanese and I'm fond of their attitudes towards names.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-29 04:53 am (UTC)
winterkoninkje: shadowcrane (clean) (Default)
From: [personal profile] winterkoninkje
I'd extend it to include non-sexual relationships as well. Referring to a collaborator or coauthor repeatedly during a talk as "my neighbor", "the guy I eat lunch next to", "my raquetball partner", etc are all just as unprofessional. If it's not a work relationship then it's not relevant to the work being presented IMO, sex or no. The sexual implications just add rudeness on top of the unprofessionalism.

(Though now I'm wondering about situations where the sexual relationship is relevant to the work being presented... :)

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