The Cornell arxiv is known to not accept preprints without a minimal screening of their contents. Still, I am sometimes led to wonder if a similar attention is paid to the liberty that authors at times take with the titles of their papers.
I am officially on vacation since yesterday, so you should not expect the list below to be a very comprehensive one. I just offer four examples of titles that might have been considered for some form of moral suasion toward the author by the arxiv managers, but apparently haven't. I just quote some titles below which struck me as kind of odd.
Also, beware: I am not arguing that the titles are inappropriate in any way; actually, I myself let sometimes go with titles that might be considered a bit weird (some time ago I wrote a CDF note titled "Top quarks down the drain", for instance). All I am saying here is that some of my colleagues might frown upon reading the following - or maybe they don't even notice; the best form of humor is in fact the involuntary one in this kind of business.
- "The incredible bulk" : a study of some regions of parameter space of the minimal supersymmetric extension of the Standard Model, called "the bulk", receives a title which jokingly alludes at the green Marvel character.
- "Making the most of MET" : this is, I think, an involuntary slip - to an experimental physicist working at a hadron collider MET means missing transverse energy, to many others it may mean "methylethyletryptanine, a hallucinogenic substance.
- "Slim SUSY" : not involuntary - jokes using the shorthand of Supersymmetry as a female name are quite commonplace. Still, one wonders whether it is an appropriate description of the content of the paper.
- "News on Penguins" : this is probably involuntary instead. There are theorists who work with Penguin diagrams all their life, and to them, "Penguin" is nothing but a diagram containing a certain internal virtual loop. [I should maybe mention that the naming of those diagrams as "penguin diagrams" dates back to a bet between Melissa Franklin and John Ellis, see here].
Okay, this list is quite short. Please contribute to it by letting the rest of us know what is the weirdest title of a serious paper you came across. Use the comments thread below. Thanks!
PS I am leaving to Greece tomorrow, and will have erratic internet connection for a couple of weeks. I will post something here, but do not expect my answers to your comments to be quick nor thorough...
Improbable Article Titles