MIT Admissions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Snively '11

Apr 30, 2009

An Explanation

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Several years ago (I believe it was 3 but it may have been 2) there was an MIT student who didn't have quite enough credits to graduate. This happens (especially because HASS requirements are so weird), so they opted to stay another year in order to finish up and graduate.

One day, towards the end of this student's senior year, a small skirmish took place on the dorm's e-mail list between this senior and an undergraduate in the dorm. Things got heated, words were exchanged, and then this happened:

This whole argument is silly.
Well, thanks for bringing it up then.

By the way, congratulations on graduating.

Wow, way to make an insulting, totally useless reply to the entire dorm.

uhh, he is graduating, right?

and graduating people, i presume, won't be staying in the dorm over the summer. so, if my two assumptions are true, i admire [name]'s heroism for taking time out of his busy final study schedule to make sure that the portion of summer residents who watch movies are happy.

oh, if you're not graduating (whether you're not a senior or otherwise), sorry, that's all i meant by the comment.

No, I'm not graduating.
Yes, I'm in the dorm for the summer.
Yes, I'm in the dorm next year.

Anything else?
Interested in my personal life?

What color underwear do you have on right now?

[For the record, it was blue, with penguins.]

From then on, every e-mail sent to the Burton-Conner dorm e-mail list (bctalk [at] mit [dot] edu) MUST be signed with the sender's underwear color. It has become a tradition. By signing with your underwear color you are saying "My e-mail is worth reading. I am willing to tell you my underwear color if you'll read my e-mail, that's how worth reading it is."

Soooooooo . . . . for all of you prefrosh that came to CPW and hung out around Burton-Conner, you may have seen some snazzy light blue shirts floating around. Maybe they looked a little something like this?

These shirts, our unofficial dorm shirts, have the line "What color is YOUR underwear?" on the back. This is not because we are creepy sexual deviants hitting on you.

This is just because we want to know your underwear color.


(Thanks to the commenter who provided the exact transcript)

Comments (Closed after 30 days to reduce spam)

But the real question is: gray, or grey?

Posted by: Shannon on April 30, 2009

Ah, that is truly the question indeed. I refuse to e-mail bctalk today to avoid restarting that discussion. Or maybe I'll just change underwear first.

Posted by: Snively on April 30, 2009

For those of you wondering what we're talking about, the following email was sent out to bc-talk last night:

-grey or gray(still haven't resolved this)

And it prompted no less than 6 responses as to the proper usage of grey versus gray. Apparently it's a country by country thing. I say grey, which is apparently unpatriotic. Yup, Firefox is telling me I'm wrong.

Posted by: Shannon on April 30, 2009

Hahahah, Burton-Conner does sound quite interesting~ I didn't get to spend much time there at all....

striped: ~1/16 inch per dark blue stripe, ~1/32 inch per light blue stripe.

Posted by: Narce on April 30, 2009

On the yellow Student Information Review Form, what do we put for MIT ID#? Did the class of 2013 ever get these ID numbers?

Posted by: 0 on April 30, 2009

I wouldn't mind staying at MIT for another year.

Posted by: Ehsan on April 30, 2009

Thank you. This explains a lot.

white (sorry, I'm boring)

Posted by: Nicole '10 on April 30, 2009

Woooops I've put there the ID number that appeared on my financial aid award letter... top right corner: Your MIT ID: [...]
so that's what I copied into the Student Information Review form

Posted by: Anonymous on April 30, 2009

Interesting how things at B-C have evolved over time, with the same flame wars going on. raspberry Re: grey vs. gray, I'm definitely with Shannon on this one - I use grey way more than gray when talking about the color. Maybe it's a Michigan thing?

light blue, with dark blue and white stripes

Posted by: Mikey on April 30, 2009

rofl. Only here would I find this post popping up on my RSS feed.

blue with black stripes

Posted by: Cody D. on April 30, 2009

I think it's because we're near Canada... apparently it's a UK/US divide. (shrug)

Also, you all should live in Burton Conner. It's freakin' suite! (... we live in suites. Okay, stopping now.)

blue and white stripes

Posted by: Shannon on April 30, 2009


Posted by: Piper '12 on April 30, 2009

@Shannon: i'm with snively. it's gray. i've only seen grey when it's in someone's name (sylar gray is an exception)


Posted by: Mary from Michigan on April 30, 2009

I suggest a poll.

Posted by: Mary from Michigan on April 30, 2009

Darn it! I've just asked a bunch of michigander (ok bad convenient sampling haha) and they say grey...i feel alone :p

Posted by: Mary from Michigan on April 30, 2009

but then I forgot the measure for radiation. i guess it's a matter of preference and whether you like british or american spelling. i've gotten both grey and gray in michigan.

this is my final post. i'm sorry for all the consecutive posts. :]

Posted by: Mary from Michigan on April 30, 2009

grey. in case anybody is wondering raspberry

Posted by: lulu on April 30, 2009

As usual when faced with a problem of unknown solution, I checked to see what Wikipedia had to say on the subject: "Grey (International and some parts of the U.S.) or gray (Some U.S. only – see spelling differences) describes the tints and shades ranging from black to white." From what I see, this would tend to mean that if you're using "gray", you're not wrong, but you're obviously not from Britain.

Oh, and I prefer EAsT camPUS myself.


Posted by: JLAB '13 on April 30, 2009

Oh! I was on Conner 5, and my host Suzie Greenman wore that shirt. It makes *so* much more sense now. Haha.

Nude. (Not really. That's just the color. :-D)

Posted by: Emily '13 on April 30, 2009

i think "grey" looks better than "gray" for some reason.

what if you're not wearing any underwear? just wondering.


Posted by: anonymous on May 2, 2009

I prefer gray. I don't like e's. =(


Posted by: Anon on May 2, 2009

Gray = American

Grey = British English

Posted by: Anonymous on May 2, 2009

Grey is the British spelling, Gray is the American spelling, but both I prefer "Grey" personally. It looks better to me.

Boring old white.

Posted by: Jennie on May 3, 2009

I say Gray, though I have seen quite a few people (mostly those from Great Britain) use Grey.


Posted by: David on May 6, 2009

Comments have been closed.