It's Friday! So let's have a little fun with this blog post.

Have you ever wondered what the authors of scientific journals are thinking or trying to reiterate? Here are some popular phrases often found in scientific journals with our interpretation of what the authors might have been thinking when they wrote them.


The author writes:
 It has long been known. 

REALLY means: I haven't bothered to look it up.

The author writes: It is believed.

REALLY means: I think.

The author writes:
 It is generally believed.

REALLY means: A couple of other guys think so too.

The author writes:
It is not unreasonable to assume.

REALLY means: If you believe this, you'll believe anything.

The author writes: 
Of great theoretical importance.

REALLY means: I find it kind of interesting.

The author writes: Of great practical importance.

REALLY means: I can get some mileage out of it.

The author writes: Typical results are shown.

REALLY means: The best results are shown.

The author writes: Three samples were chosen for further study.

REALLY means: The others didn't make sense, so we ignored them.

The author writes: The 4 hour sample was not studied.

REALLY means: I dropped it on the floor.

The author writes: The 4 hour determination may not be significant.

REALLY means: I dropped it on the floor, but scooped most of it up.

The author writes: The significance of these results is unclear.

REALLY means: Look at the pretty artifact.

The author writes: It has not been possible to provide definitive answers.

REALLY means: The experiment was negative, but at least I can publish the data somewhere.

The author writes: Correct within an order of magnitude.

REALLY means: Wrong.

The author writes: It might be argued that.

REALLY means: I have such a good answer for that objection that I shall now raise it.

The author writes: Much additional work will be required.

REALLY means: This paper is not very good, but neither are all the others in this miserable field.

The author writes: These investigations proved highly rewarding.

REALLY means: My grant is going to be renewed.

The author writes: I thank Smith for assistance with the experiments and Jones for useful discussions on the interpretation of the data.

REALLY means: Smith did the experiment and Jones explained it to me.

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