The sense of an ending
According to a recent Times Higher Education article by Terri Apter, a retired fellow of Newnham College, Cambridge, scholars are notably reluctant to praise each other. The writer refers to hearing a retired professor bemoan the current etiquette of thanking a speaker for a “fascinating” or “wonderful” talk on the grounds that such praise “diluted the intellectual atmosphere”.
However, according to Ted Odgers, of our Department of Media and Cultural Studies, this observation fails to suggest alternative ways in which anyone chairing such an academic talk might choose to indicate that the speaker had concluded their presentation. In what Odgers described as “a contribution to thickening the intellectual atmosphere”, he offered the following suggestions:
“There we are then. Somebody else’s turn to speak. Thought we’d never make it.”
“Now then, who’d like to kick off the criticism? One at a time, please.”
“I think we can all agree that our speaker now needs to catch an early train.”