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October 13, 2009
Those Zanies at Angewandte Chemie
I've been meaning for some time to acknowledge whoever it is at Angewandte Chemie that works in so many odd musical references in the abstracts. There are the usual runs of weak puns - and don't you wish that Nature, among other journals, would consider how unintelligible those jokes are as headlines in their RSS feeds? Lukeward wordplay is the standard of wit for most scientific prose, and I've been guilty of it myself. (I have to say, though, this one rises above the pack, this one is fairly hard to take, and this one and this one definitely cross the pain threshold).
But I wonder how many readers have noted recent references to Mike Oldfield, Ace of Base, Offspring, and even the Sex Pistols? Have the editors noticed, for that matter? (This joke suggests a speaker of American English is at work, since I doubt most Germans have heard of the American Automobile Association).
And I suppose that the "Beer Barrel Polka" and "On Top of Old Smokey" can't be left off this list, either. Nor can other pop-culture name checks to Marvel Comics and the original Star Trek. Someone over there's having a good time. . .
Note: this has been going on for some time. Carbon-Based Curiosities adduces some other examples from about a year ago, including ricochet shots off "My Sharona", Chic, Jimi Hendrix, the Terminator movies, and the X-Files. . .
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