cursive thesis

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Hello,
Do you know what is a "cursive thesis" ? A caracter says to a little genius from Stanford :

I've always wanted to ask you something about your cursive thesis, the one you published in Scientific American your junior year.
 
  • Thank you very much, I think the meaning is "effortless" because the caracter just said this genius finished his studies at 17 years old.

    Egueule, I don't think his thesis is about the cursive scripture because the genius and the caractere are supposed to be chemistry experts.
     
    This woman told me teachers often ask students to write their works instead of typing them. Handwritting seems to be an added value in american studies.

    I don't think they would have published his thesis as it is. Logically, they would have typed it before the publication.

    But I agree with you, it's very hard to find what my caracter meant by "cursive thesis" : either handwritten thesis, or effortless thesis. I don't see other possibilities.
     

    englishman

    Senior Member
    English England
    But I agree with you, it's very hard to find what my caracter meant by "cursive thesis" : either handwritten thesis, or effortless thesis. I don't see other possibilities.
    I can't imagine that, even in the wierd and wonderful USA, they would use the term "cursive thesis" in place of "handwritten thesis".

    To my mind, this refers to a thesis whose subject is related to the term "cursive". For example, maybe linguists disagree about the earliest appearance of cursive writing. If a linguist publishes a thesis about the data of appearance of cursive writing, someone may refer to it as his "cursive thesis".

    (and "effortless thesis" ? No, definitely not)
     

    Cath.S.

    Senior Member
    français de France
    I can't imagine that, even in the wierd and wonderful USA, they would use the term "cursive thesis" in place of "handwritten thesis".

    To my mind, this refers to a thesis whose subject is related to the term "cursive". For example, maybe linguists disagree about the earliest appearance of cursive writing. If a linguist publishes a thesis about the data of appearance of cursive writing, someone may refer to it as his "cursive thesis".

    (and "effortless thesis" ? No, definitely not)
    That is what I meant in my post, but now that we know they are chemistry students, the possibility seems very remote, doesn't it?
    I don't know what to think.
     
    It could make sense knowing this little genius has got several masters. Maybe he specialized in chemistry but made other studies.

    I wondered if "cursive" wasn't a type error for "cursus". Does "cursus thesis" mean something for you ? He published it during his junior year but was in advance (he finished his studies at Stanford at 17 years old).
     

    englishman

    Senior Member
    English England
    That is what I meant in my post, but now that we know they are chemistry students, the possibility seems very remote, doesn't it?
    I don't know what to think.
    It certainly seems fairly remote, but the other options seem worse.

    We can rule out the "handwritten thesis": SciAm doesn't publish handwritten theses.

    The "effortless" theory: I've never heard cursive used with this meaning, and I don't think many other people have either. It would be too recherché an expression to be used in casual conversation.

    So we seem to be left with cursive-as-the-subject-of-the-thesis theory, no ? Or a faute de frappe, of course.
     

    englishman

    Senior Member
    English England
    I wondered if "cursive" wasn't a type error for "cursus". Does "cursus thesis" mean something for you ? He published it during his junior year but was in advance (he finished his studies at Stanford at 17 years old).
    How about "cursed thesis" ? This is pronounced as "curs-ed", so could easily be misheard for "cursive".
     
    OK my context : a girl meets a man in the woods. It's the famous Jack Weston from Stanford university, a genius who is supposed to have several masters and a PHD. He doesn't want to talk to her but she insists :

    Wait, I've always wanted to ask you something about your cursive thesis, the one you published in Scientific American your junior year.

    After that, they change the subject. No more allusions to this thesis. She asks him nothing about it.

    I think more and more that the sentence is just here to show how brilliant is this former student of Stanford, because he works on subjects as different as chemistry and cursive script.

    What do you think ?
     
    Last edited:

    englishman

    Senior Member
    English England
    I think more and more that the sentence is just here to show how brilliant is this former student of Stanford, because he works on subjects as different as chemistry and cursive script.

    What do you think ?
    I think that you have so little context to work with that

    a) your guess is as good as anyone else's (bar the author)
    b) it hardly matters, given that the topic doesn't reoccur.

    The only way you will be certain of the meaning is to contact the author directly.

    [Edit: I agree that "maudit" won't make sense here]
     

    clairet

    Senior Member
    England & English (UK version)
    well, if we're guessing about alternatives (and I still prefer the "effortless" idea as best fitting the context of high-flying academics who might well delight in displaying their knowledge of rarer uses of a word and of someone able to publish in the SA at 17) a more likely possibility is "recursive" - an important scientific/mathematical concept and all about generation of an infinite sequence of values (or theses...?).
     
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