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Picture of Kalleh
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I have always used "steep learning curve" to mean that the learning will be difficult and take awhile. However, on a recent NPR the speaker argued that a steep learning curve, by definition, would be a quick learn. He makes sense actually. A learner having difficulty would have to navigate a gradual learning curve.

Have you ever thought about that?
 
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Picture of BobHale
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I take it to mean that you are in a situation where there is a lot you need to learn very quickly.
 
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Picture of bethree5
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
I have always used "steep learning curve" to mean that the learning will be difficult and take awhile. However, on a recent NPR the speaker argued that a steep learning curve, by definition, would be a quick learn. He makes sense actually. A learner having difficulty would have to navigate a gradual learning curve.

That does make sense, Kalleh - taking yr word for it [49min podcast!]. But seriously. I'd interpreted the expression as meaning what was required of the learner - quick & difficult, i.e., big leaps between steps, & a compressed time period - w/o ref to whether someone not capable of that had the option to do it differently. Someone who needed to take it slower on a gradual learning curve would need scaffolded lessons, & the expression seems to imply the situation does not allow for that.
 
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Yeah, I wasn't happy with that long podcast either. I tried to find a report of it, but couldn't. There were some other interesting "misconceptions" too.

I guess I've always taken steep learning curve to mean the person knows very little about something (my boss came from being a nurse practitioner to running a big division) and have lots to learn. That seemed to be how they meant it too.

They also talked about "it's all downhill" being just as bad as "all uphill." They said if you're on steep hill it could be awful going down. I disagree with that one, though.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Well, that is true. However, I'd think hiking uphill would be harder for your heart than hiking downhill.
 
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Originally posted by Kalleh:
However, I'd think hiking uphill would be harder for your heart than hiking downhill.
That depends on how soon you see the cliff.
 
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Here's where I miss Proof. He'd be chiming right in here.
 
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