Caltech Bans “Lame” Adjectives

“All Caltech-affiliated research, communication, and other published documents must use only the pre-approved adjectives… in order to stay aligned with our identity guidelines,” Caltech administration announced yesterday afternoon. An insider source has confirmed that this action will include NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

An administration spokesperson has provided the following example to The Torch for clarity:

Rather than “A Novel, General Method for the Construction of C-Si Bonds by an Earth-Abundant Metal Catalyst,” we’d prefer to see “A Dank Af Method for the Construction of Some Sick C-Si Bonds by an Hella-Earth Metal Catalyst.”

The list of pre-approved adjectives is as follows:

  • “Radical” (also:“Rad”)
  • “Killer” (“Killa”)
  • “Balling” (“Ballin’”)
  • “Swank” (“Swank up”)
  • “Gross”
  • “Totally”
  • “Sick”
  • “909 as ____”
  • “Dank” (“Dank up”)
  • Prefixes/suffixes: “Hella -”, “- af”


When asked whether they would allow the publication of papers currently in the works, an administration spokesperson furtively replied by email: “Dankness is never painful; only resistance to dankness is painful.”

And for those who would like to expand the list? “To get your adjective approved, please submit the Radical Adjective Approval Form found in the HR building.”


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