University News SpecGram Vol CLXXXIII, No 2 Contents Overheard in the Lounge—“Occam’s Bolt Cutters”—The SpecGram Busybody Elves™

Book ५७

[Note: When we asked our usual contributors to provide us with “a few” Occam-inspired limericks, their response was to multiply limericks well beyond necessity. But whatcha gonna do? —Eds.]

’Tis most strange to behold such a thing,
That this journal its praises doth sing
Of a friar with spunk
Who showed to be bunk
All the thought that its namesakes did fling.
—Pumptilian Perniquity

There once was a Franciscan friar
Who cried out, “Your theory is dire!
It has so many modes
That the meaning implodes.
Dispatch it at once to the pyre!”
—Pete Bleackley

Occam’s Safety Razor™ by Gillette

Occam to Entities
“So, entitiesdon’t wanna phase you
But this thing I’ve built here, Occam’s razor,
Puts you all to the test
And works out who’s best
And the rest, well, I’m gonna erase you.”
—Emily Deakinson

You theorists had better behave,
Or take your regrets to the grave.
Don’t multiply entities,
Beyond their necessities,
Or old Occam will give you a shave!
—Emily Davis

There once was a thinker from Ockham
Whose political thinking did shock’em
Down in old Avignon,
So he had to move on
Where the powers that were’d not unfrock him.
—Hester Fester-Münsterfenster

X-bar once was just N, V, Adj, P;
Then came IP, DP and CP.
VP shells came on next—
On and on went the list:
Now that’s not Occams’ razor, Chomsky.
—Deak-Contextualised Grammarian

Klingon is far too bizarre,
And Lojban’s too mathsy by far,
So all pirate conlángs
Will for sure walk the plank
If they ignore good old Occam’s raz-arr!
—Col. O. Nihilist

There once was a friar named William,
Whose writings foretold the Concilium
And ticked off the Pope
So he had to elope
To the Holy and Roman Imperium.
—Недостаточно Денег

If entities shouldn’t be more
Th’n what necessity seems to call for
Then why do we see
Spellings ‘kh’ and ‘c’?
It violates Oc{c/kh}am’s own law.
—William Deakspeare

This theory is just as as I feared:
Esoteric, and complex, and weird.
If he had just read
What the author has said,
Old Ockham would soon grow a beard.
—Meekly Capable Jester

The limerick, with which we play,
Has a rhyme scheme AABBA.
But Occam said, “Nay
I don’t like it that way.
It should run thus: AAAAA.”
—Gerard Manley Deakins

All new grad students work ’til they sweat,
but they don’t know what’s dangerous yet.
So we issue each one,
On the day that they come,
Occam’s Safety Razor™ by Gillette.
—Morris Swadesh III

There once was a Fellow from Ockham,
Who saw Entities, and set out to sockham.
So he wielded a Blade,
And they ran off afraid,
That Parsimonious Fellow from Ockham!
—Emily Davis

It’s the razor of Ockham! Hooray!
It states that you must do away
With whatever you can.
Please comply, my good man,
And refer to it thus: just “Ock’s Ra”.
—Alfred, Lord Deakyson

Occam’s standard draws quite a strict line,
But your theory will meet it just fine:
Make your model abstract
And it can’t be attacked,
Because “simple” is yours to define.
—Aspergillus Niger

With his nominalist thinking down pat,
Showed he where universals are at,
Not outside of the mind
Like some thing you can find,
But quite simply right under your hat.
—Pumptilian Perniquity

Ockham first bought in Burton-on-Trent,
Then some flats he intended to rent.
But to multiply homes
Is what Ockham bemoans—
He sold up and moved into a tent.
—Charles Deakins

A logician there was of great polish
Who attacked the Modistae most modish.
He left Walter Burley
Despondent and surly,
And rebutted the Dunce of the Scottish.
—Hester Fester-Münsterfenster

The Universe seems to be One;
It’s there and it hasn’t yet gone.
But with Occam’s perspective
Let’s be more reductive:
And say that there’s actually none.
—Leonardo Deak Vinci

And he managed to even outfox,
With an incisive insight like hawks’,
Certain trickery logical
In the Summa The’logical
Of the wiley Dominican ox.
—Недостаточно Денег

Ockham first bought a large house in Dover.
Then a penthouse flat (top floor!) in Mayfair.
Then: “I can’t own two beds
To repose just one head.”
He sold bothmoved back in with his mother.
—Charles Deakins

Occam’s Safety Razor™ Blades by Gillette

Ockham’s Limerick
Found among the papers of William of Ockham by Keith Slater

University News
Overheard in the Lounge“Occam’s Bolt Cutters”The SpecGram Busybody Elves™
SpecGram Vol CLXXXIII, No 2 Contents