Academic Bloopers

By Michael Edmonds 16/05/2012 2


This morning I overheard someone describing a spelling mistake they saw on a restaurant menu, where “bowels of rice” were advertised. This got me to thinking about various errors I have come across in academia.

Careful with spell check

Reading a synthetic organic chemistry paper I discovered that towards the end of the experimental section there was a method which described how to extract the “rectum mixture”. I think the spellchecker decided this was far more entertaining than a “reaction mixture”.

Careful with abbreviations

When writing a paper on Copper Nanotubes the authors obviously thought an abbreviation was necessary. But seriously did neither the authors or the reviewers realise that CuNT would not be the best abbreviation to use? It occurs multiple times throughout the article. (Chem. Commun., 2007, pg 1733-1735)

A bit of a boob

Paperwork for the position of Dean of Humanities at an institution which will remain nameless described the position as the Dean of Humantities. Caused a few sniggers when noticed during a presentation by one of the candidates.


2 Responses to “Academic Bloopers”

  • Beautiful Michael…keep them coming. It’s not just spell checkers at fault…pre spell checker days I picked up in the page proofs of my first ever publication a missing word in the concluding paragraph…the word was …
    ot … Close call.