Large vocabularies…

I’m reading Gene therapy can protect against HIV. DNA immunization was something a few of my colleagues were working on when I was in grad school and it’s awesome to see that it works.

I remember I actually have a Nature subscription and can read the article behind the paywall. That one has a slightly different title: Antibody-based protection against HIV infection by vectored immunoprophylaxis. I’m going through the introduction and I see the following sentence:

However, the efficacy of this prophylaxis was limited by an endogenous immune response directed against the immunoadhesin proteins.

A number of things went through my head.

  • right.
  • wow. that is a lot of big words
  • 15 years out of immunology and I still understand all those big words
  • that’s a very clear sentence conveying a lot of concepts in a few, big words
  • i could never write a sentence using that kinds of vocabulary in my current job
  • *sigh* I miss science

Of course at least a few of those statements are wrong. I do understand that sentence and the big words. I am quite amazed at how much of a picture that creates in my head, even 15+ years out. But, I do actually write like that in my current job, then I go through and edit out a lot of the words of more than one syllable. Then I add in 3 intervening sentences to detail the steps from concept A to concept B.

Different audiences, different communication styles.

But, man, I miss the uber specialized language of science.


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