Nasty case of writer's block creates the most brilliant scientific paper ever

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Scientific papers can be lots of different things. They can be world-changing, eye-opening, impenetrable, ridiculous, just plain wrong...or the most awesome thing ever. The absolutely incredible paper we're about to share will change how you think about writer's block forever.

Published in 1974, this paper by Dennis Upper promises a harrowing but scientifically illuminating tale of how a person failed to overcome his writer's block. Here's the title:


And now here's the whole damn paper:


That just about completely sums it up, doesn't it? Has anyone ever said more with fewer words? No, no they have not. I will guarantee you that. I think we can all agree Dr. Upper has provided the final word on the subject of writer's block, which is particularly remarkable considering he didn't use any words at all.

A reviewer, known simply as Reviewer A, wrote a glowing endorsement of Dr. Upper's work:

I have studied this manuscript very carefully with lemon juice and X-rays and have not detected a single flaw in either design or writing style. I suggest it be published without revision. Clearly it is the most concise manuscript I have ever seen-yet it contains sufficient detail to allow other investigators to replicate Dr. Upper's failure. In comparison with the other manuscripts I get from you containing all that complicated detail, this one was a pleasure to examine. Surely we can find a place for this paper in the Journal-perhaps on the edge of a blank page.


I consider it a great personal failure that when I attempted to replicate Dr. Upper's great experiment and fall prey to writer's block, I accidentally ended up writing this post. Either way, I think we can all agree that there truly - and quite literally - are no words to describe the brilliance of Dr. Upper's paper.