Science and scholarship jokes

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There's some viral science and scholarship humor on #overlyhonestmethods (illustrated sample) and LOLmythesis.

I didn't find any linguistically-relevant #overlyhonestmethods, which seem to be mostly about biochemistry and similar fields — though some of the generic ones could be applied:

LOLmythesis seems to have more humanities and social science participants, including quite a few philosophers, and more computer scientists as well. Maybe for that reason, I thought it was funnier overall. But none of the linguistics thesis summaries that I found there made me laugh out loud, and some of the better ones are re-runs of pre-existing jokes ("Italian has 23 mutually unintelligible dialects, not including hand gestures"; "People who live on a tropical atoll give directions as if they live on a tropical atoll";  …)


Update — Note that LOLmythesis is a self-mocking academic version of the other-directed "shorter so-and-so" meme


  1. Jean-Sébastien Girard said,

    January 7, 2014 @ 3:43 pm

    I suspect you might enjoy this one more: "The dictionary can be a dangerous place to search for the meaning of a word."

  2. Daniel Barkalow said,

    January 7, 2014 @ 7:09 pm

    I snorted at: "Superlative adjectives and negative polarity items: Worst. Thesis. Ever."

  3. CThornett said,

    January 8, 2014 @ 2:51 am

    Try this one:

    NHS Choices, which covers health information and mis-information in the news, ran this 'guide' to getting health research in the headlines before Christmas. Some of sections (Sex, Modern life is rubbish, Know your audience) recall more than a few LL postings.

    Now if you can just find a way to suggest that something to do with language causes or cures cancer, or leads to weight loss….

  4. EndlessWaves said,

    January 8, 2014 @ 10:48 am

    I can't link to original sources, but some of the relevant lines in my quotes file:

    The computer revolution is over. They won.

    God is REAL, unless explicitly declared INTEGER.

    What if there were no hypothetical situations?

    A computer program will always do what you tell it to do, but rarely what you want it to do.

    A picture is worth a thousand words, but it uses up a thousand times the memory.

    Hydrogen – a colorless, odorless gas which, given time, turns into people.

    I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this. – Emo Phillips

    Asking if a computer can think is like asking if a submarine can swim.

    All that glitters has a high refractive index.

    Life is complex – it has both real and imaginary parts.

    I'm Positive I Lost An Electron

    "There's an old story about the person who wished his computer were as easy to use as his telephone. That wish has come true, since I no longer know how to use my telephone" — Bjarne Stroustrup

    The best way to accelerate a computer? 9.8 m/s²

    Charlie was a chemist, but Charlie is no more: What Charlie thought was H2O was H2SO4.

    A good programmer is someone who looks both ways before crossing a one-way street. – Doug Linder

    Calculating in binary code is as easy as 01,10,11.

    A day without fusion is like a day without sunshine.

    I like angles, but only to a degree.

    The normal, in physics is a line that is ninety degrees from reality.

    Just remember, if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.

    A ship carrying blue paint collided with a ship carrying red paint. The crew are believed to be marooned.

  5. D.O. said,

    January 8, 2014 @ 11:40 am

    So, is "hand gestures" another Italian dialect or it makes 23 Italian dialects mutually intelligible?

  6. Yuval said,

    January 8, 2014 @ 2:41 pm

    We went the extra mile in Italian gesture references, over four years ago:

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