Thursday, April 21, 2005

Academics can be catty too

Over at Crooked Timber, they're collecting the best academic put-downs of all time. This may be a thread worth returning to. So far:

“So young and already so unknown.”

“This book fills a needed gap in the literature.”

(Russell’s?) remark on H.G. Wells: “His mind is like a rice paddy: miles and miles of shimmering water—one inch deep.”

“This article has problems, but none that couldn’t be fixed by a change of approach, topic and author”

“it is generally agreed that, ceteris paribus, the fertility of a field is roughly proportional to the quantity of manure that has been dumped upon it in the recent past. By this standard, the term structure of interest rates has become an extraordinarily fertile field indeed.” (Edward Kane in the Journal of Finance, 1970)

And there’s always the review that notes that the book contains many good and original points, though the good points are not original, and the original points are not good.


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