bloodyrosemccoy: (Elocution)
[personal profile] bloodyrosemccoy
There's this one guy at work who categorically refuses to believe anything I say. He's a nice enough fellow and I actually suspect that he sort of respects me because we do have interesting conversations, but he suffers from the kind of know-it-allism that makes him unwilling to talk about things where he doesn't have the conversational advantage, so he just outright denies it.

So about a year ago the subject of linguistics came up,* and he made a bunch of sweepingly uninformed statements about how sound change works. I tried to gently correct him and share some cool information--based on my being a hobby linguist since I was a tween and, y'know, the degree I have in it--chatting about the ways historical linguistics can reconstruct protolanguages. Unfortunately, everything I said got dismissed with "That sounds like a THEORY to me,"** along with demands that I cite my sources and questioning "how they know" what languages used to be like and then ignoring my answers. I made a brief attempt at engaging him Man-Style in order to gain the upper hand, but he simply REFUSED to believe that historical linguistics was a possible realm of study, and then it occurred to me that I didn't care and so I decided to stick with talking horror movies with him.*** I think he felt bad because he apologized for being obnoxious, but still remained skeptical of my "generalizations" while ignoring the fact that he'd just made a bunch himself.

Anyway today he casually mentioned that he's now trying to reconstruct Proto-Indo-European for a story he's writing.

I considered rubbing in that he's just obliquely admitted that he now was patently following all the stuff he'd been "skeptical" about when I'd said it. Maybe I should have. But while he seems to view conversation as a friendly competition, I don't, so instead I just gave him a couple of resources that might help him out, because I am a HELPER. I'm curious to see what he comes up with, but I also am going to have to remind myself that conversations with him will be kind of combative, so I'm prepared next time.


*I don't know if I've mentioned this once or twice before, but we at the Space Place are a bunch of nerds.

**Which is an extra kind of maddening for someone working in a science museum. YOU SHOULD KNOW WHAT "THEORY" MEANS, DAMMIT.

***I also remembered that he had previously been bizarrely skeptical when I OFFERED him several fucking sources off the top of my head about synesthesia being, y'know, a thing.

Date: 2015-12-10 03:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pixel39.livejournal.com
Beware mansplaining. He sounds like the classic type who refuses to believe anything that is said by anything female.

Date: 2015-12-11 08:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] padparadscha.livejournal.com
*grin* I wasn't going to accuse him of it, but yeah, I am young and female and therefore he knows more than I do. And when he doesn't, he is "skeptical."

Date: 2015-12-10 03:49 pm (UTC)
ext_12931: (Default)
From: [identity profile] badgermirlacca.livejournal.com
It sounds to me like he's the kind of person who reflexively resists change (change = "something I don't know about which is therefore different from my perceived universe") when it's first presented to him, but given time to adjust will begin, tentatively, to explore it. But (because he's a guy, and it is SUCH a guy thing) he cannot admit he might have been wrong about something, so he will offer to buy you a Coke instead.
Edited Date: 2015-12-10 03:51 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-12-11 08:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] padparadscha.livejournal.com
Pretty much, yeah. He has given me sort of oblique peace offerings rather than apologies. Close enough, I figure.

Date: 2015-12-12 12:03 am (UTC)
ext_12931: (Default)
From: [identity profile] badgermirlacca.livejournal.com
At least the peace offerings show he knows he screwed up, even if he can't quite figure out how or why!

Date: 2015-12-11 03:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellixis.livejournal.com
I refrain from told-you-soing, because occasionally it gets me a spontaneous admission that I was right. Unfortunately, this dude does not sound like the type to admit anyone else could have been right, but we can hope that he at least has that sneaking, embarrassing knowledge that he was wrong last time and that you know it.

Date: 2015-12-11 02:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] broken-moons.livejournal.com
Ohhh the times that a dude refused to accept something I said and then months later he just comes up with it 'on his own'. *rolls eyes* Though props to him for using PIE in a story, I hope you'll let us know how that goes on. ^__^

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