In an institution long ago there was a full professor who called himself “Lalo,” as a result of which we nicknamed him “Teddy” so we could talk about him and not be understood. “Teddy” sounds nothing like his real name.
Cross-appointed, Teddy disapproved of my friendship with a professor in his other department. Walter F. Pitts might mislead me somehow, imprint misinformation about the Hispanic world on my tabula rasa mind. I should not be seen going to lunch with Walter F. Pitts because “people” “might think” that I thought the things he thought.
I knew instantly that by “people” Teddy meant himself. I do not always discern this manipulation when it is used, but I have discerned it lately. “Limit yourself and your capacities, so that you do not represent a threat to poor so-and-so, who has not had the chance to do your kind of Ph.D.” Poor so-and-so might actually be the speaker.
In this kind of case poor so-and-so is not being protected, but used.