June 21, 2013

Because the term “steep learning curve” is invariably misused in The Post, it should be avoided. One such instance appeared on the front page of the June 15 Metro section, in the headline “Va. candidate facing a steep learning curve.”  

A learning curve is plotted with time on the horizontal axis and performance on the vertical axis; a steep learning curve characterizes a rapidly mastered task. The reporter was trying to convey the opposite in this article.

Here’s hoping that The Post will demonstrate a true “steep learning curve” by immediately abandoning this jargon.

Uldi Shvern, Alexandria

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