Imagine the following question on a PhD comprehensive exam:
"Using a macroeconomic model with monopolistically competitive firms, explain how an increase in the expected future price level will cause an increase in the current price level. Also explain whether there is an effect on real output.
Your answer must use words only, with no diagrams or equations. Be very precise about all the mechanisms that would be involved in this interdependent system of simultaneous causation. Your answer must assume no previous knowledge of economic theory or familiarity with economic concepts on the part of the reader. Try to make your answer as realistic as possible, using 10 real-world goods as examples. These should be goods that a homeowner with liquid domestic currency assets living in Sao Paulo Brazil in 1979 might want to buy in response to an increase in the expected future price level. Any transactions in your explanation must be shown to be consistent with double-entry bookkeeping. Please write clearly.
You have 2 hours to answer this question.
Your answer will be graded by a committee composed of: an accountant; a businessman; a Russian day-trader; an economics professor; and anyone else who happens to wander by. You must satisfy all these examiners in order to pass the exam, including follow-up questions in the oral.
Your answer, and the comments of your examiners, will be a permanent part of the public record."
I was foolish enough to try something like this (though I cheated a lot). (Sorry Winterspeak, but when I thought about what I was trying to do, it did seem rather funny, and I couldn't resist posting this, though the joke's really on me.)