how not to choose a title 101

September 8, 2009 at 3:12 am | | great finds, literature

It’s easy for one to find amusement in a poorly conceived figure or in a t-shirt attempting to show the structure of PCP but failing quite miserably or in the egregious cover of an Oxford University Press promotional booklet for ACS publications. But let us not overlook the gems of humor that we encounter everyday in the form of journal-article titles. Throughout the process of writing my dissertation, I have accumulated countless EndNote libraries, the entries of which are fertile grounds for laughter. I challenge you to improve upon these categories (or add new ones):

Greatest disregard for the importance of being concise:

Bennett, M. A.; Yoshida, T. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1978, 100, 1750-1759.

long title
Most dizzying:

Arroyo, M.; Bernès, S.; Brianso, J. L.; Mayoral, E.; Richards, R. L.; Rius, J.; Torrens, H. J. Organomet. Chem. 2000, 599, 170–177.

Most [{(=flamboyant=)}]:

López, O.; Crespo, M.; Font-Bardía, M.; Solans, X. Organometallics 1997, 16, 1233-1240.

Most clichéd:
Gaydos, C. A. Neurology 2001, 56, 1126-1127.


Longest running series (most pretentious?):
ten Brink, G.-J.; Arends, I. W. C. E.; Hoogenraad, M.; Verspui, G.; Sheldon, R. A. Adv. Synth. Catal.
2003, 345, 1341-1352.

longest series
Most in need of an editor (and a vacuum pump to remove those 0.88 +/- 0.04 molecules of methylene chloride):

Usón, R.; Forniés, J.; Espinet, P.; Garcia, A.; Tomas, M.; Foces-Foces, M.; Cano, F. H. J. Organomet. Chem. 1985, 282, C35-C38.

I still have four chapters of my dissertation to write and only four days before a draft is due to my committee.  I can’t help but to ask myself, Is this the best use of my time?


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  1. Nick, I like that you’ve started posting again now that you’re writing your thesis! :)

    Comment by sam — September 8, 2009 #

  2. ” Is this the best use of my time?”

    Thanks for the funny titles!

    Comment by Phil — September 9, 2009 #

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