This is one of the many devices I use at the beginning of my lectures in China in order to grab the students’ attention.
Sometimes I start in Latin,Â other times with a quotation from my illustrious namesake, Marcus Cato the Elder.
On this occasion I started Â by asking for all the idiots in the room to stand up. One brave soul did so. Of course I didn’t expected anyone to do so, so I asked him, “Why did you stand up?”
The student, who obviously was a bit of a wag, if not slightly lacking in good manners, replied: “Well, Sir, I didn’t want you to be the only idiotÂ standing up!”