Monday, March 9, 2009

You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes...


...to notice that he has what one might call, if one were feeling charitable toward the fellow, an ideosyncratic preference for backticks ( ` ) over apostrophes ( ' ). A poster on the n-category café named Stephan (archived in That Hard-to-Find Baez Material) also noticed this, as have others.

So extreme is the affectation, it could almost be mistaken for an obsessive-compulsive disorder.


From El Naschie's home page:

He is Honorary Professor in Shanghai`s Jiao Tong University as well as the Donghua University in the People`Republic of China.


These, from getcited.org, are the titles of some of his papers in Chaos, Solitons and Fractals:


  • Extended renormalizations group analysis for quantum gravity and Newton`s gravitational constant (2008)

  • Noether`s theorem, exceptional Lie groups hierarchy and determining 1/ alpha = 137 of electromagnetism (2008)

  • Estimating the experimental value of the electromagnetic fine structure constant alpha = 1/137.036 using the leech lattice in conjunction with the mosnter group and Spher`s kissing number in 24 dimensions (2007)

  • The Fibonacci code behind super strings and P-branes. An answer to M. Kaku`s fundamental question (2007)

  • Is Einstein`s general field equation more fundamental than quantum field theory and particle physics? (2006)

  • On the vital role played by the electron-volt units system in high energy physics and mach`s principle of "Denkökonomie" (2006)

  • A few hints and some theorems about Witten`s M theory and T-duality (2005)

  • Dead or alive: Desperately seeking Schrödinger`s cat (2005)

  • Determining the number of Higg`s Particle starting from general relativity and various other field theories (2005)

  • Einstein`s dream and fractals geometry (2005)


What a remarkable coincidence, then, that certain people who have posted on various threads in support of Dr. El Naschie (for example "Elisabeth Steinbach"; "J. O`Connor"; "Manfred"; and "Gerhard Kroll") share this unusual typographical mannerism!

Fortunately, Mr. Free Legaladvice assures us that Dr. El Naschie does not use the Internet. Otherwise, we might be tempted, wrongly and unjustly, to conclude that these identities are Dr. El Naschie's sock puppets.
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9 comments:

  1. Wow! I didn't see that! I can't believe it. I provoke him all the time at SciAm to let him produce more of his venom - more content for the corpus linguistics I'm running at his life work and I miss such a simple thing. Wow. Before that, the probability that all these posts AND the papers written by Mohamed S. El Naschie are written by one and the same person was about 82 % with analysis still running. This certainly gives the result a kick. How could I miss that? What does it mean for the overall result? Will El Naschie now change from ` to ' ? What will that show? Do I sound a little like Watson here?

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  2. why is the most recent comments feed now missing from the left margin, replaced by a series of useless clocks?

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  3. Because I can't make the recent comments thing work. It works for a while, and then all the comments disappear, leaving only a heading that says "Recent comments" with no comments underneath, which looks silly.

    The clocks aren't instead of; they are supposed to be in addition to. They're useful to me. They show the time zones where most of my readers are concentrated.

    However, I will give the recent comment thing another try. I liked it too.

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  4. OK, I've put in a different Recent Comments widget. Hopefully it'll be more robust than the last one.

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  5. Interesting result! But I would be careful to draw conclusions - it may well be possible that El Naschie doesn't type his papers himself. Actually, he may have scribes ;-) for that, i.e. private secretaries - who then also could do parts of the job of "commenting" on the internet...

    Again, keep in mind, "lower" activities such as typesetting, reacting to (in his view) unworthy subjects who don't understand his work but dare to critizise it, etc, may be beneath him: He is a nabob, well-connected to the Saudi Royal Family...

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  6. I wouldn’t read too much into this. People wrongly using accent characters instead of the (dumb) apostrophe is very common in Germany for example. It probably has to do with the ‘psychology’ of keyboard layouts which makes it harder to discover the ‘correct’ key.

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  7. That's interesting, do you have data on these phenomena? This will not go far if we don't have something on paper, some numbers that express what you just said. From my subjective experience, the use of ` is rather rare. What I see often is the use of ´ instead of the apostrophe '.

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  8. The usage is preserved in stone on this blog. It is probably being erased from the Web right now. Backtick is a symbol that Google ignores, which makes everyone's job harder. But you can open each page on this blog and then look for it within the browser's "find on page" feature.

    ReplyDelete