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?
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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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.
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.
Sometimes hiking downhill can be worse than hiking uphill. You're putting more stress on your knees.
Saving your knees while hiking downhill
The Effect of Uphill and Downhill Walking on Joint-Position Sense: A Study on Healthy Knees.
Topic: Hiking: harder up or down?
Well, that is true. However, I'd think hiking uphill would be harder for your heart than hiking downhill.
That depends on how soon you see the cliff.
Here's where I miss Proof. He'd be chiming right in here.