Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Fun - Puns in Native Tongues

Finally! For those chemists who just can't get into a scientific paper without a witty one-liner, Angewandte Chemie delivers. DerekExcimer, and Chiral Jones noted some of the best (and worst) Angewandte abstract puns over the past 5 years. Hey, any journal that can somehow channel carbene reactions through Britney Spears deserves at least a chuckle.

Well, up to now, most of the puns have been written by the English language editors of the International Edition; regular readers realize that Angewandte publishes a German-language edition as well. Far as I can tell, looking at the 'Early View' tab, they're now translating even the puns ins Deutsch!

From the posted few, we can glimpse some method in the madness. Certain expressions are translated directly, like Goldstandard for "Gold Standard," or Elektrisierende Ergebnisse (Electrifying Results!) for "Electric Results" in English.

A few, however, must not have carried over well enough. "More than LiP service" in English becomes Ein Hauch von Rot (A Touch of Red), and "A gel for all seasons" becomes Ein Gel für alle Fälle (A gel for all cases). The strangest rewrite has to belong to this Fukuyama synthesis of Chartelline C. The reserved German tagline reads Von großen und kleinen Ringen (Of large and small rings), but the English?

"What a core-ker!"
(Must have sounded better in the pub)


  1. Well, the "Ein Gel für alle Fälle" does make sense. It is a reference to the older, very popular TV series "Ein Colt für alle Fälle", whose original title is "The Fall Guy". So, they exchanged pun for pun. Pretty nerdy. But at least they try.

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