Wednesday, 3 February 2010

The Science Letters: Feedback (No.1)


This is me writing now, not 'Science'. After a recent shout out via Bad Astronomy, I've noticed an increase in readers orders of magnitude beyond what I usually get. Hello all.

As a result, several points have been raised, which I will try to address now.

Admittedly, I do use apostrophes quite excessively. Just a bit of a blind spot, I suppose. Not sure if this is a genuine attempt by people to get me to raise my standards (if so, cheers!) or if I've got a case of the mythological grammar Nazis. Just a note to point out that Science and grammar don't necessarily go hand-in-hand, they differ on many things. The meaning of the word 'colon', for example...

This has been raised previously, and I'll reiterate it here. Yes, I do write from the point of view that Science is male, despite the Latin feminine nouns. And before any militant feminists scream about arrogance, I do this purely because I am male, and no other reason. I also assign genders to other concepts according purely to what makes the letter read better, and may easily change my mind in later pieces. I wouldn't want to do it any other way, as whereas I am confident enough to write as if I were the living embodiment of the totality of science (encompassing all of mankinds information, study and research into the universe past, present and future), I would never be presumptuous enough to write as a woman. I know my limits.

I'm aware that the Dear Astrology letter contains several 'mistakes' regarding astrology, in so far as you can make mistakes regarding a completely created system. I know Pluto is still there, but do astrologers? I'm trying to rail against things based on the perception of them in modern culture, as people always do with science. Meticulously researching the thing I'm addressing and making sure to avoid inaccuracies would sort of defeat the point of what I'm doing. That's what scientists always do, I want to show what it could be like if science behaved in a similar manner to it's detractors. Bare in mind, I've had an extensive reply from an astrologer, doesn't look like logic is their strong suit.

I do tend to do a lot of generalising, this isn't necessarily accurate when applied to things that aren't pseudoscience. This is purely for ease of writing/reading. Not all journalists/media platforms are idiotic trash dispensers, not all advertisers are soulless bullshit merchants, not all Apple products are pretentious. I could be more specific in my ill-informed rants, but that would lose the impact somewhat. Don't take it personal, unless you actually are a homeopath or the Pope, in which case I apologise for nothing.

Yes, I put BA hons whenever I sign off as 'science'. This is meant to be a joke, obviously. I just find it very amusing, the irony of the living embodiment of science actually having an arts degree. Maybe it's just me?

Think that's about it for now. Have I missed anything? Just comment or message if so. Will see if I can sustain people's interest into next week.

email: Humourology (at)
Twitter: @garwboy


DaN McKee said...

BA (hons) was my favourite bit :-)

Anonymous said...

I thought the BA Hons bit was good, too.

Keep it up, you're onto a winner with the anthropomorphic personification of Science.

Anonymous said...

An Oxbridge graduate, presumably - almost all of their undergraduates end up with BA (Hons), whatever they study.

Rob Clack said...

Pretty sure Cambridge science grads get a BA(Hons) too.

prin said...

1. lol @ colon
2. As long as you don't write about gynecology as being manly, you should be alright.
3. lol @ "bare in mind". I sincerely hope not. :D

Jacob said...

I use many apostrophes too in my writing, and have you had people give you fusses with the fact that you write through science with a male voice? that seems ridiculous. PE cure

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