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Today's word on journalism

Monday, April 24, 2006

Dueling masters on words:

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."

--William Faulkner, writer (1897-1962), on Ernest Hemingway, writer (1899-1961)

"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"

--Ernest Hemingway, writer (1899-1961), on William Faulkner, writer (1897-1962)

Round tables or square? Your preference speaks louder than words

By Marty Archibald

March 8, 2006 | Red, yellow and blue are the primary colors. Circle, square and triangle have been called the primary shapes. But there are no triangular tables in the Hub.

The perfect schedule for a student would be on with no gaps in between classes, a rare and impressive feat. Most students are stuck with an hour break here and there throughout the day. An hour is a long time but not quite long enough to go into town and do something worthwhile. Some students choose to spend their break between classes in the Hub.

But once in the Hub an important choice lays ahead. The Hub offers two choices of tables to sit at, circle or square. Whether you know it or not, the choice you make may say a lot about your personality.

Besides shape, the most obvious difference is the number of people gathered around each table. The square tables can comfortably seat four people, while the circular tables can comfortably seat six. More often than not the square tables are under-capacity, while the circular tables are often over-capacity with as many as 8-10 people.

"I prefer to sit at the square tables," says student Amanda Shorts. "I don't know a lot of people up here, so it wouldn't make sense for a few of us to take up a round table."

According to, this is the exact kind of attribute that is common among those with square type personalities. Square personalities tend to prefer small groups of people says the Website. In contrast, circle type personalities are very social and communicative according to

This just shows a preference for table size more than anything. You have to watch and talk with those sitting at the tables to show that theirchoice in table may have more to do with shape than size.

One big difference between those sitting in the Hub is that those at the circular table are usually just talking among friends. Those at the square tables are more than likely reading or doing homework of some kind.

"I'm here to do homework," says square table sitter Jordan Kohler. "My only free time is between classes, so I usually come here where it's less crowded to do it."

This action is expressed by many of those in the square table section and shows such personality traits expressed by square types such as high achievers and working on a task until it is finished.

When it comes to his time in the Hub circular table sitter Tung Troung chooses to spend his time differently.

"I sit here to talk with friends and I have a lot", says Troung. "I can make time to do homework later or not do it at all."

This idea seems to be congruent with the thoughts of others sitting at the round tables. Signs of school supplies are hard to come by when looking around the area where the round tables are. Eating, talking and the occasional reading of the comics are all you'll find in this area.

That type of thinking shows strong characteristics of the circle personality such as a passive approach to life, laziness and taking time to enjoy people.

Others such as Trevor Perkes and Kent Arnold choose to make their decisions based on comfort and proximity respectively.

"I don't care about the table", says Perkes. "There is booths at the square tables where you can lay down and sleep. If they put Lay-Z-Boy's at the circle tables I'd sleep there."

"I'm not walking clear over there," says Arnold. "These (round) tables are closer to the food and that is where I want to be."

So the next time you go to the Hub remember that your choice of seat is more than just that. It can also give people perceptions of who you are. Whether they are that you are lazy, a go getter, sleepy, hungry, a bookworm or that you just want to talk for no reason. Whatever the choice may be, just don't take my spot at the round tables, us circle personalities are afraid of change.


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