Nature has a list of its 20 favorite science books of the year (why 20? if they weren’t choosing the obvious 10 you’d think they’d pick a more scientific number like 16 (2^4)) – and it struck me that 19 of the titles include a colon. Examples include “Spirals in Time: The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells” which doesn’t really float my boat, and “The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution” which sounds pretty interesting, and “Scientific Babel: The Language of Science from the Fall of Latin to the Rise of English” which sounds quite intriguing.

The only exception is “Plant Behaviour and Intelligence” which the magazine describes as “a rollicking exploration of botanic behaviours.” I did not expect “rollicking”.

For Christmas I think I’ll ask for a copy of “Dot Atop Dot: Everything They Don’t Want You To Know About Colons In Book Titles”


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