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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?"
"No."
"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.

Comments

marijkab
Apr. 19th, 2007 10:11 pm (UTC)
addiction to language
Wow! That's great news about the editor. I'm really impressed that you have followed thru with your book all these years. I can remember helping you with a few terms a long time ago... I will be one of the first to buy the book, when it comes out. What's the title going to be?
That humor reminds me alittle of EMT humor...
ABC- Airway, bury 'em, and call the florist
ADASTW- arrived dead and stayed that way.
Fibrillate- to tell a small lie
cheers!
liveonearth
Apr. 19th, 2007 11:49 pm (UTC)
Re: addiction to language
Oh yeah, the EMT and paramedic crowd have more than their share of acronyms with HORRIBLE meanings. Tell me more!!!
marijkab
Apr. 21st, 2007 02:14 am (UTC)
Re: addiction to language
enema- opposite of a friend.
air goes in and out, blood goes round and round, any variation on this is generally bad.
:)
liveonearth
Apr. 21st, 2007 06:44 pm (UTC)
Re: addiction to language
Heh. :+D

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