Contributed paper list

   (Friday 16th, 11:00-12:30)

Hidden jargon: everyday words with meanings specific to statistics


Christine Anderson-Cook (United States)


If students of statistics or our collaborators from other disciplines do not immediately understand the terms “probit regression” or “kriging”, we are not surprised and are happy to carefully explain these advanced statistical terms and concepts. A different class of words has one or more distinct statistical meanings in addition to their standard English definitions and is ripe for confusion among students. More subtly, some of the key words of statistics, such as design, parameters, model and analysis, are also the key words of other disciplines. Each discipline has assigned subtle associations to these words beyond their standard dictionary definitions with hidden connotations and implied connections to concepts. We consider some multi-discipline keywords, discuss how to build awareness about the potential for confusion by interdisciplinary collaborators or out-of-major students, and how to resolve the communication gap.