Mike Shor: Humor

Letter to the Editor
Re: Referee Reports

Dear Dr.

Thank you for your thoughtful response to my decision letter concerning the above-referenced piece of excrement.

I have asked several experts who specialize in the area of research you dabble in to have a look at your pathetic little submission, and their reviews are enclosed. I shall not waste my LaserJet ink reiterating the details of their reviews, but please allow me to highlight some of the more urgent points of contention they raise:

1. Reviewer A suggests that you cite his work EXCLUSIVELY in the introduction. He has asked me to remind you that he spells his name with a final "e" (i.e., Scumbage), not as you have referenced him in the last version.

2. Reviewer C indicates that the discussion can be shortened by at least 5 pages. Given the fact that the present Discussion is only three pages long, I am not certain how to advise you. Perhaps you might consider eliminating all speculation and original ideas.

3. Reviewer D has asked that you consider adding her as a co-author. Although she has not directly contributed to the manuscript, she has made numerous comments that have, in her view, significantly improved the paper. Specifically, she believes that her suggestions concerning the reorganization of the acknowledgments paragraph were especially important. Please note that she spells her name with an em-dash, and not with the customary hyphen.

4. Reviewer B has asked that I inform you that, even though his suggestions were not mentioned in my decision letter, this doesn't mean that he is an imbecile.

5. My own reading of the manuscript indicates that the following problems remain:

a. By "running head," we do not mean a picture of your son's face with legs attached. Please provide a four- or five-word title for the paper that summarizes the report's most important point. May I suggest, "Much Ado About Nothing"?

b. Please make certain that you have adhered to APA stylebook guidelines for publication format. Please direct your attention to the section entitled, "Proper Format for an Insignificant Paper" (1995, p.46).

c. Please submit any revision of the paper on plain, blank stationery. Submitting the article on Yale University letterhead will not increase your chances of having the article accepted for publication.

d. Please doublecheck the manuscript for spelling and grammatical errors. Our experience at the Archives is that "cycle-logical" slips through most spell-check programs undetected.

e. Although I am not a quantitative scientist, it is my understanding that the "F" in F-test does not stand for "f___ing". Please correct the manuscript accordingly.

Yours sincerely,

Prof. ___, Editor


If your original submission had been as articulate as your most recent letter, we might have avoided this interchange. It is too bad that tenure and promotion committees at your university do not have access to authors' correspondence with editors, for it is clear that you would be promoted on the basis of your wit alone. Unfortunately, it's the publication that counts, and I'm sorry to say that the Archives is not prepared to accept this revision. We would be perfectly ambivalent about receiving a ninth revision from you.