What are the technical terms, in your field, for 'dunno'?
In astronomy there's 'unmodelled second order effects'
In medicine there's 'idoeopathic'
In archeology/anthropology there's 'ritual purposes'
How do you professionally term 'we haven't got a clue'?
@vidyasagar In mathematics we have "open problem".
@vidyasagar In software engineering we have “unreproducible behavior.”
@vidyasagar Psychology: "Unspecified."
@vidyasagar In electrical engineering it's "nonideal behavior" or similar.
In chemistry, the phrase “a combination of steric and electronic factors” springs to mind.
@vidyasagar In IT we often have "It didn't do that in the Dev environment"
@vidyasagar semanticists occasionally use "incidental homophony" to describe a word with two distinct meanings/uses but no known etymological coincidence or convergence. It's the easy way of saying "this word appears to have always meant two things and we have no idea why ¯\_(ツ)_/¯"
Spouse suggests "emergent behavior." :)
Also "in computing it's 'user error.' "
In mathematics, this is the default situation; we are surprised when we /do/ know anything. It might be 'unspecified' or 'without loss of generality' or 'to an approximation of sufficient order'. But if we're embarrassed by it, it's 'clearly' a 'trivial' matter.
@vidyasagar "Thank you for submitting your poem. Unfortunately this piece wasn't right for us, but we wish you best of luck."
@vidyasagar In statistics I would say "standard error"
@vidyasagar for the discerning system administrator, there's the BOfH excuses calendar.
@vidyasagar In linguistics you've got "underspecified"
@vidyasagar in the bakery: "sourdough failure" ;D
@vidyasagar "Method effects."
@vidyasagar Bookkeeping: post it to the “suspense” account until the client remembers what it is.
In IT, there are Gremlins.
@vidyasagar "I heard about it, but I am not really familiar with it" ("hab ich schonmal gehört, ist aber nicht gerade mein Thema") - Journalism.
Also: "I only pre-investigated this" ("Ich hab das nur anrecherchiert") - read: "Yeah, I should be well up in this matter, but it is boring / too complicated / not in Wikipedia, so I will just hide my cluelessness behind fuzzy wording."
@vidyasagar in IT we have "try turning it off and on again."
@vidyasagar In libraries and archives, it’s generally “it depends” followed by some kinda bullshitting.
@vidyasagar I guess most fields have something of "we'll do it like this, we've always done it that way", in (agile) software engineering this pattern is also known as "cargo cult programming".
@vidyasagar and of course, there is always the famous last sentence of probably every paper: "further investigation needed"
@vidyasagar also in software engineering: closing bug reports with reason "cannot reproduce" when there are simply too many variables involved to test all combinations in order to hunt a bug down
@vidyasagar "unexpected behavior" leaps to mind for computer stuff
@vidyasagar in literature I think it’s “That’s open to interpretation.”
@UtOS My favorite so far.
@vidyasagar journalists say "interesting"
@vidyasagar "null pointer exception"
@vidyasagar in computer science, "emergent behavior"
@vidyasagar "Undocumented product feature".
@vidyasagar Here's how "officials" (unspecifed) and the BBC do it:
"Officials say the helicopter may have suffered an unspecified failure."
Just to be double-sure the bullshit is bullshit, they qualify it with the word 'may'. Wow.
@vidyasagar academia in general has 'merits further research' i believe, but in mathematics, things we can't prove we call postulates, though that's not quite the same as 'dunno'.
@vidyasagar In life sciences, we throw up our hands and say "that's what the data says!" and then try to come up with ways to explain it that we can test with some experiment. Experiments are good and go into results section. Speculations that can't be tested easily are weak and go into the discussion section.
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