Me: Have you noticed that your semi-log plots are non-linear at short times, giving a negative intercept ?
Student: Oh, yeah, they’re all a bit like that.
Me: Any idea why that might be?
There follows a brief explanation by me on the idea of ‘probe response’.
Student: Do we have to put that into the report?
Cue look of bewilderment on face of student.
Me: I just thought you might find it interesting – you’re a good student.
Cue look of embarrassment on face of student.
All a bit awkward but a sign of the times.