Asontheda: as adapted from the story told by Russell Glenn late one night at Waffle House, sharing horror stories about undergraduate engineering classes and the foreign professors that teach them.
So we were all sit
ting there taking notes like busy worker bees
... And then the professor winds up the lecture with something like, "and to find the normal force
of the object we must take asontheda
." All the busy pencils and pens stop
"What's... a... asontheda?" Everyone starts asking themselves in their heads. Whispers and small discussions sweep over the room asking each other if they caught the last bit of notes of their poorly versed professor. Asontheda became the accepted spelling of the mystic term.
Every time the word comes up in class the pencils and pens continue to scribble furiously the words of the professor. "And as you can see, asontheda gives us the acceleration due to gravity in this equation, therefore we can find the tension..." but there are no qualms about asontheda. They only figured it was something they had yet to learn -- some term that would be defined at some unknown point in the future.
The suspense finally gets to one of the students... No longer can he wait to discover what the curious asontheda means. The professor, at first, has a blank expression on his face while he tries to comprehend the question. "Asontheda... ah. Ah, yes. Asontheda, you know... you take the:” and the professor scribbles the function "A sin theta". "A is the acceleration due to gravity, or the weight divided by the mass, and theta is the angle of the inclined plane," the professor explains
A *gasp* rolls across the lecture hall. Then laughter.
And then, like the wave at soccer stadiums, exclamations of relief and joy sweep over the band of confused students. "I get it now," and "Oh, crap," or "Holly shit" were their words of choice. The dumbfounded pupils where in shock at the sheer irony of the situation.
Just one more war story from the battlefields of an undergraduate study in Engineering.