Some time ago I came across (somewhere in the wide, wide net) this statistics limerick, which I liked very much:

User beware, one must take so much care
in matters statistical, be right and aware
lest LODs lose their meaning
and false positives be teeming
though nothing worth noting is there!

However, I lost the note where it came from, and I cannot find the original source.

Have you seen it? Know where it came from? Maybe even know a proper reference I can use?


1 Answer 1


Googling the third line of this poem leads to exactly two hits: one is this question and another is a page that provides an answer: watson.hgen.pitt.edu/humor/Unpublishable_Humor.html. Let me quote it directly:

Unpublishable Humor

by Amrita Ray & Daniel E. Weeks

Our very fine limerick was judged unpublishable by the American Journal of Human Genetics: [...]. Our limerick was to appear as the conclusion at the end of our Letter to the Editor:

Ray A, Weeks DE. No convincing evidence of linkage for restless legs syndrome on chromosome 9p. Am J Hum Genet. 2005 Apr;76(4):705-7; author reply 707-10. PMID: 15747259

But, unfortunately, the Editor requested that we remove our limerick: [...]

Acknowledgment: We thank our colleagues in our Fall 2004 Quantitative Genetics class for helping us improve the wording of our limerick.

Let me only add that "LOD" probably refers to the logarithm-of-odds score in genetic linkage analysis.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks a lot, including the direct quote: not only can links rot "tweaking" the search can be even more difficult particularly if google tries to be helpful... $\endgroup$ Mar 11, 2014 at 16:59
  • $\begingroup$ Also thanks for explaining LOD in the genetics context. In my field (chemometrics) LOD is the limit of detection, for which the warning is also valid. $\endgroup$ Mar 11, 2014 at 17:00

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