This year's favorite malaprop will almost certainly be "principle action problem" (instead of "principal-agent problem"). Tentative definition: "the theory which points out how difficult it can be to act on one's principles."

Also, we have had several people (in a class on American Foreign Policy) say that Allison and Zelikow's Essence of Decision proves the superiority of the Rational Actor Model, which is just... wrong. Completely.


FLG said...

First, be kind to people homonym issues.

Second, isn't that the article about the Cuban Missile crisis regarding how bureaucracies undermine the Rational Actor model? Weird.

Nicholas said...

In regard to the first, the student in question then proceeded to write a very fine essay about the problems principals have controlling agents. It's not the principal-principle difference that amused me, it was action-agent (especially since it became "agent" in the next sentence).

Nothing, however, will ever top "Marriage can be defined as fornification for the purposes of begotting a child."