> At social gatherings when people ask what you do, if you say > mathematics, they'll often respond that they hate math or were > terrible at in school, etc. Kind of a rude response I think, as I > wouldn't come out and so openly diss someone's profession like that.
Present yourself more respectably. What does "openly diss" mean? Tell them you're a mathematician. "Do math" is so blase. Are you a statistician? Would you get different replies? At least people know statisticians can get work.
> And somewhat of a humorous response, since few people would think to > confess that they were bad at English or could barely read or put > together a coherent sentence, and yet they so gleefully volunteer that > they are bad at math.
I fail to see humor. Obtuse irony perhaps. Likely it's an admission of guilt to which you could reply "Sorry you did so poorly."
> I'm curious how people who do math respond to those types of comments.
Try explaining mathematics as a hobby.
To "You're a vegetarian?!" I usually just confirm the statement and ignore the emotional connotations.