Easter eggs in academic books

I'm currently reading Nonsampling Error in Surveys, by Judith Lessler and William Kalsbeek (Wiley, 1992) for a project I'm working on. It is, for the most part, an informative but necessarily rather dry treatment of statistical questions in survey design and interpretation. The segue at the end of Chapter 10 (p276), however, reads:

If the pancake does not decide to enter the Olympics as a disk, causing the athletes to fall far below records set previously by Russian athletes because of the sticky maple syrup, we will tell you next, dear reader, about measurement variability.

This is even referenced in the index under "pancake(s)". I wonder whether this was intended as an Easter egg for the reader, or to test the attention of the editor...

One Response to “Easter eggs in academic books”

  1. Dan says:

    I read that book years ago in grad school and keep the page bookmarked. To this day, I have no idea what that passage means.

    Prior to reading your comment, I didn't realize "pancake(s)" was listed in the index....thanks, that made me laugh (again)!

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