What are the best names in history?

Ordelafo Faliero de Doni, 34th Doge of Venice, ruled 1102–1117.

Like the Latin says: Orfaletrus D(e)i Gra(tia) Veneciȩ Dux. Ordelafo, By God’s Grace, Doge of Venice.

Ordelafo is a one-off name, and is presumed to be the Venetian name Faledro, spelled backwards.

Spelling names backwards as far back as the 12th century. And coming up with Ordelafo. That impresses me.

Answered 2016-09-25 · Upvoted by

Lyonel Perabo, B.A. in History. M.A in related field (Folkloristics)

What are some common mistakes PhD students make in graduate school? Are there any common pitfalls or bad habits that separate unsuccessful students from successful ones?

To narrow down Cheri Thomas’ answer: failing to scope down your thesis as you go. You are always more ambitious at the start of the thesis than you need to be, and you will need to say less than you thought you would.

Cheri says:

Another is that they set too high a standard for their dissertation topic. The dissertation is something to get over and done with. It’s your first piece as as academic, not your greatest piece.

Now, for all too many, it will be their only piece, unless they’re happy signing up to a lifetime of being a TA and penury. But it’s still true: as a fellow student once said to me, “It doesn’t have to be good, it just has to be done.”

Not having a plan and methodology and a strategy (which, inter alia, will help you scope it down when you need to). If your supervisor is doing their job, they will help you have a plan. All too often, they don’t; you may need to draw on your peers for that. A PhD is a three year project. It is your baptism of fire in project management. That is something you will not have learned from undergrad.

Unless you’re one of those horrible ghastly geniuses that can pull off a dissertation in 10 pages, in one of those disciplines where you can get away with it, it’s a mistake to assume that doing a PhD is about being brilliant. It isn’t. Brilliance gets you started. Slog and persistence get you to finish it. The slog is not fun (though the peers are). The motivation is even harder, especially if you’re part time.

Oh, doing a PhD part time? Especially if you have family responsibilities or teaching responsibilities? Feasible, but much, much, much harder. Much more of a requirement that you have disciplined project management about it. Not being brilliant was not a predictor of failing to complete. Not having enough time in the week to focus on the project, I’m afraid, was.

Oh, and if you want an academic job at the end of it, which is a slightly different topic, there are some other fatal errors, which I can certainly attest to:

  • Not doing something fashionable
  • Not networking
  • Not publishing early and often
  • Doing too much TA work
Updated 2016-09-25 · Upvoted by

Karthik Abinav, PhD student in Computer Science from UMD

How do I address strangers in Australia?

Other respondents have covered this well (which is a benefit of me putting off replying to A2A’s!)

I’ll just add some metacommentary. People of Quora who get me in their feed because they like me or something: do read the other responses.

  • The egalitarian ideal of Australia is that we address each other as mate, because we are not Class-Obsessed Poms [British]. But that’s an ideal, and it has its limits. It’s not really appropriate for someone substantially older than you. Mateship was also was never really a female friendly thing, though that has eroded somewhat.
  • There is also something of a class factor to mate. Australians are in denial about there being class in Australia (because, again, We Are Not Poms); but all the grumbling about bogans is nothing if not classist.
  • Mate is fine for males younger than you, including teens and kids.
  • Darl and love were addressed to women in the bad old days; hence Sarah Boon asking noone keep using them. I have been addressed with darl and love myself by older women, mostly in service industry contexts; but it is decidedly antiquated.
  • Zero-address is safe, as others have said, precisely because we’re uncomfortable with more formal alternatives to mate (such as sir—which we wince at even in service industry contexts), and we have a lack of female alternatives. (Mate towards women is limited, probably odd to most people, and certainly only addressed to women you know, not strangers.)
  • Ma’am has actually gotten me adverse reactions. I do use it, but as an ironic thing.