You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

As I guess many of you (but perhaps not my colleague Paul Stevenson) know, this is a quote from the movie The Princess Bride. For those of you who have sadly missed out on this excellent movie, our hero, Wesley, is chasing one of the bad guys, Vizzini. Vizzini thinks he’s a genius but sadly he isn’t and Wesley keeps thwarting Vizzini’s attempts to throw him off his trail. This irritates Vizzini who keeps exclaiming ‘inconceivable’ when I guess he means ‘impossible’. Finally, one of the guys with Vizzini snaps and says the line above.

But what has this to do with science? Well last week the hashtag #princessbridescience caused a fair bit of amusement among the apparently quite large number of scientists who are fans of The Princess Bride. For example, the quite eminent climate scientist Michael Mann (@MichaelEMann)  went for “The greek symbol you used. I do not think it means what you think it means”. And @BadAstronomer went for “It just so happens that your data here is only MOSTLY noise.” See here for the original quotes from The Princess Bride.

Jason McDermott (@BioDataGanache) came up with “Swience! Swience is wot bwings us togeder today. Swience that blessed search for twooth” – you may need to see this clip to get that one. And Kara Woo (@kara_woo) went for “My name is Reviewer #3, you didn’t cite my papers, prepare to die.” Clip from movie here. That may have been partially inspired by the other good science hashtag of the week #sixwordpeerreview. If you have a spare minute or two you might want to check both tags out, just click on the links.

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