Ever wonder where people get those arcane thesis topics?

You know the kind; the topics themselves are beyond comprehension by mere mortals and the scholar just takes it one step farther by using so many 50¢ words that you have zero chance of understanding what is going on.

In fact, there is so much obfuscation involved in the average dissertation topic, that we felt that we should join the fun! And we invite you to do the same; see below for details.

The Game...

The current starting point:

Two words:

  • asymptotic
  • ilk

The object:

Craft a make-believe dissertation topic with the highest possible syllable-to-word ratio (an SWR of at least 3). The simple statement "I am" has an SWR of 2:2, which reduces to 1. Definitely not dissertation material.

The rules:

  • Begin with 2-3 words or a phrase (preferrably from a public source; e.g., NPR).
  • Any participant can add words or phrases.
  • Participants can change or remove articles, prepositions, conjunctions, etc., but will not remove key words like "antidisestablishmentarianism".
  • We are finished when we run out of ideas and/or when the topic sentence seems to have run its course.
  • Most importantly: The statement must be intelligible. In other words, you simply cannot string a series of unrelated words together. It actually must mean something.

Past Dissertation Topics:

Starting Point:

two words: asymptotic & ilk
Topic Sentence:
asymptotic relationships between antidisestablishmentarianism and partisan complacency: the ilk of the obfuscatory political campaign with reference to the symbiotic orientation of liberalism and conservatism -- gutteral utterances of manifest destiny -- electoral promises analagous to a meniscus -- ostensibly adhering to the rigidity of the populist structure while obscuring the veritable concavity within.
137:50 (reduces to 2.74)

Starting Point:

"a post-modern cultural meta-story" - NPR
Topic Sentence:
rhetorical vs compulsory proactive electoral abstention derived from a post-modern cultural meta-story with respect to the implementation efficacy of populist and totalitarian government in an evolving dominant global society over the post-cold-war era.
84:33 (reduces to 2.55)

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