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Perks and personality

9 March, 2010

… that is, how one of the perks of being as good at their work as these authors, is that they can get away with starting the abstract as follows:

This article was written in 2005 and subsequently lost (at least by the third author). Recently it resurfaced due to one of the colleagues to whom a hard copy has been sent in 2005.

It doesn’t quite beat my favourite attempt by someone to inject some humour into the faintly self-important business of putting preprints on the arXiv, which is this preprint and the claim in its opening paragraph that “the first author’s long-awaited monograph on the topic should be illuminating”.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Philip Brooker permalink
    11 March, 2010 3:59 am

    I notice that the end of the abstract of the first-linked paper above is also somewhat cheeky.

    This post reminds me of Joe Diestel’s book Sequence and Series in Banach Spaces, where on page 21 he writes “+ as little as you please” instead of “+ \epsilon”. I believe that I have heard a story that when the book was first written it had “as little as you please” replacing epsilons throughout, but the publisher wouldn’t have a bar of it and instructed Diestel to put the epsilons in instead. If this is the case, then it seems either that Diestel was allowed to keep one instance of “as little as you please” in the book, or he sneakily managed to leave one in there. I would prefer if it was the latter.

  2. Philip Brooker permalink
    11 March, 2010 4:03 am

    Whoops. That last sentence in the post above should have been something like “I prefer the latter”.

    • 11 March, 2010 5:36 am

      I always enjoy reading prose by Joe Diestel, although I’m not sure I’d want *everything* to be written like that. During several failed attempts to digest bits of the Vector Measures book, it was only the excitement and enthusiasm that helped anything to stick.

      I seem to remember glancing at some paper by Nikolskii and some others, where a key proof is supplied by Volberg, and the acknowledgments describe how the argument was found after various late-night sessions with wine and early morning sessions with juice. Like I said: I guess when you’re as good as these guys, people don’t put their foot down about being formal 😉

      On which note, you might want to check out the last sentence (before the bibliography) of Ghahramani-Read-Willis, which I think has just been published in Proc. LMS. It bears the mark of the middle author, I reckon…

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