On Wednesday, after seeing posts from researchers swapping esoteric slogans, I posted a note suggesting: “Don’t get too clever when choosing a phrase or saying to put on a sign or T-shirt – be straightforward and obvious. It’s very easy for biology/physics/math/science puns or quips or references to sound like they were meant to carry the message ‘I know you won’t get this reference because I’m smarter than you.’ That’s not what you will intend, but it’s surprisingly easy for the rest of us to hear such a message if you’re not careful. It’s better to be bland and obvious than accidentally obnoxious.”
As of this writing it has gotten 1,200 “likes”, meaning that many people have clicked on it to register their opinion, and generated more than 200 comments. This is a couple orders of magnitude more than any FB post I’ve ever been involved with, and I think it counts as “going viral” to use that stupid phrase.
Many of the likes are actually dislikes, as many people (maybe 1/5 of the comments, by my estimate) thought I was saying to “dumb it down” and tipetoe around out of fear of offending somebody.