liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

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Linguistic Laughs from Doctor Magid

I have an ongoing email conversation with the prof who taught me organic chemistry some 12 years ago, and he recently read the intro to my book and offered some wonderful comments that had nothing to do with river running, and everything to do with language. I have found that he is at least as obsessed with language as I am.
I have finally got him to fill me in on a little bit of chemist slanguage as he hears it. He wrote:

"There are "in jokes" such as NMR means No More Research. There are translations of standard journalese, such as "We thank Jones for helpful suggestions and Brown for technical assistance" which means "Jones had the original idea and Brown did all the work." An insult would be "He's so dumb that he doesn't know which way the gravity vector is pointing." I'm not coming up with any others, but let me think about it - when the brain works in background, it often provides better examples."

And he torments his wife with puns:
"Where was the painter El Greco born?"
"In Crete."
"And what was he called after he left there?"
"An excretion."

When attacked by a swarm of little bugs:
"Do you know what those little things are called in Germany?"
"They're gnatsies."

Dr. M says that there's a word for those who are OCD about language. He says the word is "doryphore". One link defines it as someone who is critical of others in an annoyingly pedantic way.

GOOD NEWS on the book: I just received an email from an editor at Menasha Ridge Press, and he sounds interested. It is the best publisher for my particular book, I'm sure of that. I'm going to send him the intro tonight.
Tags: humor, language, riverese

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