The Poetic Works of Idle Hands (2022)

Over March Break (2022), in a small corner of Twitter, statistical concepts, philosophies of data collection, and poor attempts at mathematical humor were shared.  Following is a compilation of the verses that were drafted….which ultimately drifted, as statistical conversations ought, to musings about Wordle.

Many thanks to those who joined in the fun, and for those who saw it as foolishness, let me take a more formal evaluation of the exercise.  To reduce a concept to a few rhyming syllables is a concrete application of creativity and synthesis.

– Poems without titles have been labeled according to their author.
– Any omissions are entirely unintentional, please let me know if you spot one that hasn’t been included.
– It is possible that grammar, rhyming schemes and poetic sensibilities may have been injured in the attempt to maintain conceptual fidelity. Proceed at your own discretion.

A statistical poem appreciating the poetry of statistics
By @ResearchChat

The measures of all central tendency
Shrinks data down so you then can see
Where it congeals
But sadly conceals
The rest of the data’s resplendency


Numeric Prophe-sigh’ing
By @ResearchChat

Use your discretion
with logistic regression
when foretelling the news
with just ones and twos

(or more technically accurate)

Use your discretion
With logistic regression
When foretelling is done
With just zero and one


On Matters Pertaining to the Student’s T
By @ResearchChat

If you want clarity
On sample disparity
Don’t call your bestie,
Just run a Test-T


By C. Anderson:

A young researcher from Moldova
Had to run her analyses ova
Her results didn’t thrive
(P greater than point-oh-5)
Next time, she’ll run an ANOVA

Stat Burglar
By @ResearchChat

Of all the statistical labours
There’s one that will land you in papers
There’s no use disputin’
Cuz when you’re imputin’
You’re stealing numerically from neighbours

Weighing Both Sides
(alternate title: Lunch Time Ponderings)
By @ResearchChat

Increasing your weight
In a model is great
It makes the data fit better

But weight on your waist
From indulging your taste
Just makes for a tight fitting sweater

Doing More…..With less
By @ResearchChat

Models that are parsimonious
Are balanced, lean, and harmonious
Adding more variables
Is more than just terrible
It’s unneeded, wrong, and erroneous


Humor <
By @ResearchChat

X bar is the mean, and
X-tilde is the median.
“X walks into a bar jokes”
Won’t make you a comedian.


Not so long ago, in a model not so far away…
By @ResearchChat

There is a sequel
To slopes that are equal
It’s slopes that are random
But it has a small fandom.

From Dr. Robson

Its close cousin
Has got me buzzin

If suitably prepped
Randomize the intercept!

From Dr. Robson

Data are useful
And should be respected
But if you live in Canada
They won’t be collected.

Moody Thoughts
By @ResearchChat

The null hypothesis is happy to say
“There’s nothing to see here, keep moving”
But get a result that’s significant
And suddenly the null is disproving

From Dr. Robson

The null hypothesis
Is kinda bad
Cuz if the null is correct
The alternative is sad

From Dr. Robson

The research ethics board
Fills me with so much rage
But they won’t release my money
Til I fill out all the page

From Dr. Robson

Stata is best
To do your analysis
Because a missing period
Causes SPSS paralysis

If you use R
You’re probably cheap
The environment is hostile
And makes me weep

I don’t know why
People use SAS
All those semicolons
Are incredibly crass

From SAS Software
By Dr. Robson

The Semicolon indicates to the compiler it has received its command
If not inserted correctly, it simply would not understand 🤷‍♀️
Just like the Irish, may still follow the gold 💰
We believe #SASusers will continue to code and not fold.


Methodative Quantologies
By @ResearchChat

When working with numbers
you’ll be called a “Quant”
Here are considerations, advisable:

If there is anything in
your analysis to flaunt
It should be reliable, valid, generalizable

By @ResearchChat

When working with narratives,
you’ll get the name “Qual”.
Collecting the truths people speak.

Highlighting their lives,
And looking through all,
For themes that are common or unique


Statistical Mixologists
By @ResearchChat

When blending these methods
You’ll be known as “Mixed”
And be the star extra-curricular

Of all of these methods,
Using the strongest betwixt:
Quan in general and Qual in particular


From Dr. Robson

If the assumption
Of your approach
Is objective reality

Then the way you report
Should exhibit
Moral neutrality

Mixed methods: a poem
By Dr. Robson

Everyone will say
Mixed is the best
Til the interview data
Contradict the t-test.

From Dr. Cathlene Hillier

Mixed methods is the way to go.
Until the journal sees word count and says “no”!

Disturbing the Labour – a poem
By Dr. Robson

Everyone’s mad
Professors going on strike
But you gotta remember
It’s not something they like

Instead of aligning
with administrative positions
Remember that learning
Depends on working conditions

A Significant poem
By Dr. Robson

Report the p values
Show me those stars
Unless you’re in health
And love CI bars
Economists though
will be a damn terror
With their insistence on just
The raw standard error

Here’s a point (Oh Five)
By @ResearchChat

No wonder statisticians are gloomy
And so frequently prone to rant
Wouldn’t you feel the same, if your best results
Were declared as signifi-CANT ?

First p-value of the morning
By @ResearchChat

I once read in a book
That you can tell with just a look
Whether you have statistical significance

If, when you are graphin’
Your CI bars AREN’T overlappin’
then your p-value’s what we technically call “terrific-ance”

Perpetual Movement Statistic
By @ResearchChat

Degrees of Freedom
Why do we need’em?
The burden they carry:
How many values can vary.

Wordle: A Poem
By Dr. Robson

Wordle is my current
Source of fascination

Makes me feel smart
But it’s just procrastination

By ResearchChat

Have you tried Quordle ?
You solve four at once.
Wordle made me feel smart
Quordle made me a dunce.

Pah Pah OO Mow Mow
By @ResearchChat

Have you heardle about the Birdle?
Well Everybody knows that the Birdle’s the Wordle

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