Pronunciation: rhymes with "joints"
Definition: a method of payment for food at Cornell dining facilities. Point values correspond to dollar values.
Attested: I first encountered this term when I signed up for a meal plan last summer.
Example: "I'm not sure if I have enough points to feed myself all the way until the end of the semester!"
Etymology: In the english language it is acceptable to assign this word to any units of measurement. Where some schools might use the term 'declining balance' or just 'dollars', at Cornell the money that one has on his or her ID card is referred to in 'points'. Points are an alternative to other meal plan options, including meals. This term was most likely created out of necessity for a unit of measurement: points was the most obvious word.
- Amadee Meyer
Problem Set (noun)
prob'-lem set; rhymes with "come get"
Definition: An assignment (usually weekly or biweekly) given by a professor covering material taught over a period of time. A typical one usually encompasses the material covered in class between the date assigned and the due date.
Attested: I first heard this word in a number of my classes in the beginning of my freshman year at Cornell in August, 1999.
Example: The problem set due next Monday in physics deals with Newton's laws of motion and frictional forces.
Etymology: This term is popular in college and university settings. The terminology is mainly used for science, math, and engineering courses, but can appear in almost every course of study in this or any other university. The term problem set is synonymous to the word homework, and is used as a substitute. The possible reasoning for terminating the use of the word homework was due to the change from the high school setting to the college setting. The word homework could create a negative connotation, a childish assignment that involves little effort in completing. Therefore, the creation of the term problem set (exercises which are one of the few methods in gaining the material) would eliminate this negative connotation.
- Michael Senra