In my last Strukturdynamik lecture, I was pretty happy because I was understanding the technical vocabulary used during the lecture itself and in the textbook. But while listening to the professor speak, some of my friends from exchange program and I noticed something.
The professor was referring to a displacement of a beam being analyzed in an example as the variable q. As in, when the beam was pulled down, the end of the beam moved downward q centimeters. Similarly, the velocity of the movement of the beam was the time-derivative of q, often referred to as q-dot because it is written as a q with a dot over it. Acceleration, the second time-derivative of q, is q-double-dot.
Now’s a good time to mention that the letter q, in German, is pronounced very similarly to Kuh, the word for cow.
As soon as we realized why the professor kept talking about cows, we all started cracking up every time he mentioned q as a displacement variable in an example problem. And we did a lot of example problems. Cow, cow, cow-dot.
In a break during the lecture, I drew you a picture.
As a translation, Kuh = cow, Punkt = dot, doppel = double. And µ is pronounced “mu,” for those of you who aren’t up-to-speed on your Greek pronunciation.
We noticed a few other funny pronunciation things, but the comics for those either aren’t drawn yet or didn’t turn out as well. But I may never be able to keep a straight face in Strukturdynamik again. 😀