back to article Damn you El Reg, Call me a Boffin, demands enraged boffin

It is with the deepest and most heartfelt concern that we here on the Register's standards and conduct committee wish to reach out today to our readers and apologise for a very serious violation of our editorial code. The error in question occurred with respect to this article, since amended: Hackers fondle boob tubes in Red …

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  1. stanimir

    Is it just "boffin" or Dr. boffin in this particular case of Dr Oren, the boffin?

    1. jake Silver badge

      @stanimir

      "Boffin" is the title. No "just". No need for "Dr".

      Nothing official, but it kinda feels nice when a peer refers to you as one.

      The Press? Unimportant when it comes to this kind of thing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @stanimir

        I'm a Dr. but not a boffin... Clearly 'boffin' outranks 'Dr.', as does 'Prof.' People writing 'Prof Dr.' e.g. are clearly just either sucking up or following institutional policy.

        And don't get me started on the Germans with titles like 'Dr. Dr.' ...

        tl;dr / executive summary: Dr. > Prof. > boffin

        (and sociologist > C. elegans)

        1. Otto von Humpenstumpf
          Boffin

          Re: @stanimir

          And don't get me started on the Germans with titles like 'Dr. Dr.' ...

          "The Germans", as you like to put it, don't have a class-based society -- this was abolished by law in the Weimar Republic, if I remember correctly.

          Instead, degrees like "Dr", "Prof", etc. are highly respected, *because they're earned, rather than inherited*. Holding the title of Ingenieur (engineer, or "Dipl.-Ing.") is something to be proud of, and commands respect. In Germany, there aren't any "maintenance engineers"; they're called what they are: mechanics. And there's nothing wrong with that either, as the vast majority have served an apprenticeship of three years, and really know what they're doing.

          1. Naughtyhorse

            Re: maintenance engineers

            lol

            Sooooo not the british way.

            We have a firm of subbies that work for us and they are all senior this and principle that (it's the higher hourly rates! see)

            even their tea-boy is a senior beverage engineer.

            wankers.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: maintenance engineers

              "We have a firm of subbies that work for us and they are all senior this and principle that"

              The best (or worst, depending on your point of view) job title that I've seen has to be 'Group Operations Director'... calling yourself GOD is maybe taking things just a little bit too far!

          2. Uffish

            Re: @stanimir

            My sometime correspondant in Germany was Dr. Ing. Dipl. Ing. Reibling. Very resptectable name and titles, and very melodious.

            1. Annihilator

              Re: @stanimir

              I prefer Dr Hertz van Rental myself.

          3. Intractable Potsherd

            Re: @stanimir

            On the other hand, my wife is from one of the countries that is anal about titles, and was delighted to move to the UK where she could lose the "Dr Mgr Mgr", and not even have to use the Dr if she didn't want to - something that is akin to fraud in the minds of her countryfolk. Personally, I tend towards the attitude of "If you are not a medical doctor, it is confusing to use the title. Just use your name and PhD after it if it is relevant (which in most cases outside work, it isn't)".

            1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: @stanimir

              If you are not a medical doctor, it is confusing to use the title

              Only because that confusion was sown by fradulent sawbones in the early modern era. "Doctor" etymologically means "scholar"; medical practitioners who don't do research shouldn't be using it in the first place. While many clinicians are fine people and I'm glad to see them when I need my body-plumbing inspected, they're no more "doctors" than the typical lawyer or engineer is.

              If I'm going to refer to my dentist and veterinarian as "doctor", you can be damn sure I'll show the same courtesy to people who actually conduct research and contribute original work to their field.

              (By the same token, I don't share the Reg's disparaging attitude toward psychologists, many of whom conduct extensive, methodologically-sound, useful studies on difficult subjects which have helped debunk any number of dangerous myths about human behavior. But I also recognize the Reg lives to annoy and earns some credit for it by entertaining, and occasionally informing, me. Which is more than I can say for most people I've met who think "doctor" has something to do with medicine.)

              1. Hollerith 1

                Re: @stanimir @ Michael Wojcik

                Yes, Doctor is an ancient pre-medical title, and at Oxford and Cambridge, the highest form of Doctor is Doctor of Divinity. The Doctor of Medicine is a johnny-come-lately and these have to trail behind Doctors of Philosophy, Humanities etc etc.

                Most people's interactions with a doctor are with the medical breed, so to them that is the 'real' kind, just as one's own currency is 'real' money.

        2. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: @stanimir

          tl;dr / executive summary: Dr. > Prof. > boffin

          (and sociologist > C. elegans)

          Dr AC, I think you've got your less-than and greater-than symbols mixed up.

          1. cortland

            Re: @stanimir

            Elegance counts!

        3. Annihilator
          Coat

          Re: @stanimir

          "And don't get me started on the Germans with titles like 'Dr. Dr.' ..."

          Although it's fine when Robert Palmer is looking for the news about a bad case of loving you.

          1. VinceH Silver badge

            Re: @stanimir

            ""And don't get me started on the Germans with titles like 'Dr. Dr.' ..."

            Although it's fine when Robert Palmer is looking for the news about a bad case of loving you."

            Or when the Thompson Twins want you to observe that they are burning, burning, and then tell them that this is indeed love they're feeling.

        4. CPE Bach

          Re: @stanimir

          Nein 'Dr. Dr'; Herr Doctor Doctor Professor....!

        5. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: @stanimir

          Did you just say a sociologist is greater than a Corydoras Elegans? Because I, and my passle of cute catfish, heartily disagree.

    2. cortland

      A halber nar...

      Say, a khokhem boffin (back-of-the-throat Hebrew "kh" ). Under Yiddish sayings, see "A halber nar iz a gantser khokhem." http://kehillatisrael.net/docs/yiddish/yiddish_pr.htm

  2. Sir Barry

    El Reg boffed by a boffin!

    Can the said boffin issue the sarcastic comment anyway as I would like to see what a boffin defines as sarcastic.

    1. VinceH Silver badge

      No!

      Boffin sarcasm is a highly dangerous weapon, and should only ever be used in anger.

  3. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    Happy

    It was the threat of a sarcastic comment...

    It's obvious that it was the threat of a sarcastic comment that got you to issue this apology and correction..

    Them be fightin' words!

    1. Edwin

      Re: It was the threat of a sarcastic comment...

      Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It was the threat of a sarcastic comment...

        Now go away or I shall fart in your general direction!

  4. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Happy

    Shock!

    A boffin with a sense of humour.

    There's hope for the human race yet!

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Shock!

      Boffins really, really need a sense of humour. If you cannot poke fun at life, the universe, and everything, you might end up starting to take yourself and (worse) your ideas way to seriously. You might even end up believing in them, which totally scuppers your critical attitude. A good capacity for self-deprecation or even self mockery is important in science.

      This is why I like writing the odd paper for Annals of Improbable Research. Must get that paper on pasta-antipasta collision experiments finished.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: Ouch!

        Downvoted, I wonder why? Presumably for daring to suggest scientists shouldn't believe in their ideas...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Before acquiescing to his demand...

    ...I hope you verified that he wore a white coat.

    1. monkeyfish

      Re: Before acquiescing to his demand...

      But not a pristine white coat. Any old idiot can where a pristine white coat. It has to be stained with unidentifiable stains, and the odd patch of oil or grease won't go amiss either.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @monkeyfish (was: Re: Before acquiescing to his demand...)

        But where? Location matters. As does written English.

      2. Elmer Phud Silver badge

        Re: Before acquiescing to his demand...

        "But not a pristine white coat"

        Yup, they are mainly reserved for the 'I'm not a dentist but I intend on making you think I am one to flog you a product that will have you runniing scared to your real dentist to fork out real money after you've used it"

        Then there are the 'Forget about just using conditioner and a fine comb - you need to pour this completely unnecessary bottle of insecticide on your kids head" white coats, too.

        1. kiwimuso
          Pint

          Re: Before acquiescing to his demand...

          @Elmer Phud

          Ha! That reminds of a particularly inane advertisement for toothpaste down in this part of the world (much as I would like to, the brand shall remain nameless) in which a woman in a white lab coat was perched on a stool in front of a white (or black) board and announced that, "I'm a scientist, so I know about equations." and then proceeded to tell us why we should buy the toothpaste she was promoting with know further mention of any equations or proof as to why it was better.

          Maybe it also killed 99% of all household germs!!!

          I would use the joke icon because that is what it was, but they appeared to be serious about it.

          Have a beer instead. It's much better for your teeth.

      3. John 110

        White coats (was Re: Before acquiescing to his demand...)

        The lab block in the large UK teaching hospital where I work has a complex hierarchy of white coats. like so:

        University employees: don't wear coats, just latex gloves (which they proceed to use to grasp doorhandles etc)

        NHS employees have a sub hierarchy.

        Blood sciences (a largely automated discipline) : Pristine white coats, single breasted, but buttoned for safety reasons.

        Microbiology : Double breasted Howie coats (mad scientist specials) usually spattered with Gram stain and peppered with holes where acid is spilled. (it is a point of pride NOT to have "biological" material on your coat!)

        Histopathology : as Micro, but with much more staining, especially towards the rear (the most convenient place to wipe stain off your hands...) and added paraffin wax and plaster and various toxic substances (usually with benzene rings in them).

        Medics of various ilks tend to wear unbuttoned standard coats when they leave their room, but not down to the wards (Infection control issue)

        Hope this helps....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: White coats (was Before acquiescing to his demand...)

          The lab block in the large UK teaching hospital where I work has a complex hierarchy of white coats

          Love it, thanks. I'll probably email this one to a friend of mine who works in hospital :)

    2. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Before acquiescing to his demand...

      ...I hope you verified that he wore a white coat.

      and uses a straight stemmed pipe to point to his diagrams...

  6. Dabooka Silver badge
    Boffin

    Acquired a negative connotation?

    Never, and if I ever come across such a person I'll punch them right in the Tilly orifice.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Acquired a negative connotation?

      I have 2 daughters, one who is highly academic, and one who is definitely not. The thick one has been known to call the clever one a 'boffin' (or 'boff'), in the pejorative sense. I mention this because she almost certainly picked it up from the local 'comprehensive camp' they both attend. Therefore, the shameful use of 'boffin' as an insult is probably more widespread that many el reg readers might realise particularly for the young and ignorant.

      1. monkeyfish

        Re: Acquired a negative connotation?

        Ah, but those of us referred to as such wore it with pride anyway. It went something like:

        Idiot: "You're such a boffin"

        Boffin: "Yes, I am cleverer than you, thank-you."

        1. A K Stiles

          Re: Acquired a negative connotation?

          usually then followed by

          Idiot: "Smart-ass" *punch*

          Boffin: "Oww!"

          (at least at my 'Comprehensive' anyway)

  7. Ketlan
    Happy

    My naughty Aunt M

    My very naughty Aunt M was shagging the science master at the posh school they both worked at when I was a mere sprog. Said master wore a white coat in the lab so Auntie M could have been said to have been boffing the boffin, the bad girl.

    Still better than muffin the mule though!

  8. Return To Sender

    Full marks...

    Having now peer reviewed Dr. Oren's complaint I believe he has presented a convincing case, and I applaud El Reg for responding with a correction in a timely fashion! Go boffins!

  9. Snivelling Wretch
    Headmaster

    A lovely story, somewhat marred by the use of the phrase "reach out". Please stop this forthwith.

    1. That Lewis Page (Written by Reg staff)

      Reaching out

      I was trying to sound like someone on a standards and conduct committee

      1. Steven Raith

        Re: Reaching out

        Going forward I'd like to have this action ameliorated into the bigger picture.

        Also, words. Meaningless, pointless words.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Reaching out

          Today's vomit-inducing neologism was the introduction of 'onboarding', used as a noun. I can just about guess what it means. I can also guess that my communications with that user will be kept to an absolute minimum.

          1. Return To Sender

            Re: Reaching out

            Onboarding; waterboarding for the soul. And waterboarding is exactly what should happen to anybody using 'onboarding'.

          2. Andrew Commons

            Re: Reaching out

            I always thought that was misspelt and the 'a' should have been a 't'....

  10. Boff

    Speaking as a...

    Speaking as a natural born Boffin, i'd like to welcome him to the family..

  11. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Coat

    Weren't the Boffins related to the Bagginses?

    Or was that the Bulgers?

    Sorry, I'll get me coat

    1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      Re: Weren't the Boffins related to the Bagginses?

      Sure it wasn't the posher ones?

      The B'Ophines

      1. moiety

        Re: Weren't the Boffins related to the Bagginses?

        B'Uckets?

  12. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    To quote John Wyndham in 'The Kraken Wakes':

    The Boffin's Lament - or The Lay of the Baffled Boffin

    Oh, I'm burning my brains in the backroom,

    Almost setting my cortex alight

    To find a new thing to go crack-boom!

    And blow up a xenobathite,

    ...

    Oh, I've pondered the nuclear thermals

    And every conceivable ray.

    I've mugged up on technical journals,

    And now I'm just starting to pray.

    ...

    What I'd like is the germ of the know-how

    To live at five tons per square inch,

    Then to bash at the bathies below now

    Would verge on the fringe of a cinch.

    ...

    I've scoured above ultra-violet,

    I've burrowed around infra-red,

    And the -

    It's a book I think of often when the term boffin gets discussed on here. I guess John Wyndhams boffins might be a little slow to come up with the goods, but usually get there in the end.

    Also found this, while looking for the above silly song. In the Independent: how-the-war-turned-boffins-into-sex-bombs

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: To quote John Wyndham in 'The Kraken Wakes':

      I do wish El Reg would let us format text better, so we didn't have to have 2 carriage returns every time. Makes for very long posts.

  13. Velv Silver badge
    Boffin

    NO!

    "On these pages, "boffin" has always been a title of honour accorded only to proper scientists and engineers ..."

    PROPER SCIENTIST AND ENGINEERS

    And in particular, not someone who is working in the field of peer readers here at El Reg such as a "security researcher" or "computer scientist".

    Boffins are those who do Voodoo in other fields of science for which we cannot consider ourselves as having proper peer knowledge.

    I'm not for one minute suggesting Dr Oren isn't worthy of our respect. But if I understand the technical aspects of his article says, he's not a boffin.

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      I'd like to see you say that to

      Tommy Flowers

  14. jonathan keith

    Down With Skool

    The term "boffin" was always used by thick sporty kids at school to insult the weedy academic ones. Usually pronounced "boffeeeeeeeen" for some unfathomable reason.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Down With Skool

      Usually pronounced "boffeeeeeeeen" for some unfathomable reason.

      An inability to communicate in standard English?

      1. A K Stiles
        Coat

        Re: Down With Skool

        Hmm, sounds like a school from around Bur-ming-gam way, Bab.

  15. Dan S
    Headmaster

    Why is The Reg hostile to psychologists?

    I've never understood The Reg's hostility to psychologists ("trick-cyclists"). It is true that some psychologists have published utter BS in journals that should have known better. You can cherry pick the BS to make an academic discipline appear highly suspect. Or you could be more balanced and call out the BS when it happens, but also appreciate the better quality research.

    For example, many of the comments following the article criticising Kevin Warwick focus on cognitive development in children and brain structure. You'll find some of the "trick-cyclists" actually know quite a lot about those things.

    Is psychology flawed? Yes, but that's largely because it is has to understand the human mind, using human minds to do the research. That's no small challenge!

    Disclosure: I am a psychologist, but also a geek (hence reading The Reg).

    1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      Re: Why is The Reg hostile to psychologists?

      It's a front for the Church of Scientology. Down with Xenu!

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Why is The Reg hostile to psychologists?

        @Dan S

        The problem is that psychologists (phantom castle builders) and psychiatrists (phantom castle dwellers) have a centuries long history of near demonic treatment of their charges (phantom castle rent-payers). This has almost reached the scale of a racial memory, and people are justifiably frightened by a group who seem to have limitless power over individuals but accept no responsibility for their actions.

        I've never been a victim myself, but I do feel very deeply for all those families who were devastated by that awful woman who, even when shown to be totally wrong in her judgement, not only refused to apologise, but still wouldn't accept she was wrong.

        Maybe you're one of the good guys, but who want's to take the risk?

        Finally, let's not forget the old quotation : The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Why is The Reg hostile to psychologists?

          The problem is that psychologists (phantom castle builders) and psychiatrists (phantom castle dwellers) have a centuries long history of near demonic treatment of their charges (phantom castle rent-payers).

          Whereas the history of the medical profession is unblemished, eh?

          Maybe you're one of the good guys, but who want's to take the risk?

          Probably any of the vast number of people who have found psychological or psychiatric treatment helpful.

          Fascinating how people project their phobias.

          1. NumptyScrub

            Re: Why is The Reg hostile to psychologists?

            quote: "Whereas the history of the medical profession is unblemished, eh?"

            Since many would consider psychiatry a part of the medical profession, I'd argue that blemish was merely one of many (trepanning and leeches also spring to mind).

            quote: "Fascinating how people project their phobias."

            I was put off Psychology after studying it at university, and switched to a pure engineering degree. Far more intuitive :)

    2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Why is The Reg hostile to psychologists?

      I'm fairly sure that the term "trick-cyclists" was coined to refer to psychiatrists, rather than psychologists.

      At the time when I studied psychology* it was trying very hard to be a serious science**. The result was an immense dose of very boring stuff about rats and herring gulls, and lots of statistics.

      * I wouldn't have the nerve to call myself a psychologist.

      ** According to Rutherford "All science is either physics or stamp collecting", so only physicists have a right to sneer at this.

  16. RobZee

    We're all Scientists these days!

    Some 20yo kid on a quiz show I watched recently was described as a Scientist. The imbecile couldn't answer simple questions and it later transpired he was a technician in a lab testing water samples.

    To call yourself a scientist you should have a degree in a scientific subject and have done several years research in a specialised area relating to that degree (ie. be doing or have already done a PhD). I suppose to call yourself a boffin, in addition to being a scientist you have to have that something extra, like a really bad hairstyle!

    1. NumptyScrub

      Re: We're all Scientists these days!

      If you've already done the PhD then you already get to call yourself Doctor. I would suggest that the minimum bar to calling oneself a scientist is to have a BSc (even though it includes trick-cyclists, at least it's the ones that did the degree with the difficult sums in), and that the minimum bar to being a boffin is either the BSc or BEng plus working on research that involves hard sums (you could potentially raise the bar to MSc or MEng, I'd concede that that would indicate an intention to continue in a research career)

      The lab coat, straight-stem pipe and electrified hairstyle are optional, but are highly recommended accoutrements for proper boffinry.

      1. Irony Deficient

        I’m not.

        NumptyScrub, I meet that scientific minimum bar, but I’ve never thought of myself (or described myself) as a scientist. Working in one (or more) of the sciences might be a better indicator of a scientist.

      2. Jan 0

        Re: We're all Scientists these days!

        Don't real boffins wear winged collars?

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: We're all Scientists these days!

      I think you may be being a little elitist here; I'd suggest that the bar for being allowed to refer to oneself as a scientist is to know what the scientific method is, how to apply it, and to actually work in, or have worked in, a setting that requires you to apply it.

      I like to think of myself as a scientist, although I don't currently work in a scientific profession, I hold two degrees in the 'hard' sciences (chemistry with some biochemistry and microbiology gubbins thrown in) and am firmly of the opinion that knowing how to think like a scientist (aka 'think properly') is an asset in almost any field, and should be taught more thoroughly to everyone in school. That way, we might end up with some politicians who actually know something, or who can at least acknowledge that if they are not experts in a subject, they should defer to someone who is.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: We're all Scientists these days!

        I'd suggest that the bar for being allowed to refer to oneself as a scientist is to know what the scientific method is, how to apply it, and to actually work in, or have worked in, a setting that requires you to apply it.

        Indeed. In contemporary terms, a scientist is a person who conducts research under a particular epistemological framework called "science", which incorporates various methods and protocols that aim to produce reproducible results that accord with empirical observation (among other secondary concerns).1

        If you do science, you're a scientist. These days by far the most obvious and practical route to doing science includes acquiring various university degrees, because there's a lot of base knowledge in any field that you have to acquire if you're to have any decent chance of making an original contribution. But degrees are at best a proxy for "scientist" status.

        1That can be glossed as "the scientific method", but work in the history of ideas and the sociology of scientific knowledge, and cognate fields, has shown that the SM, as it's generally taught, is at best only a grade-school approximation of anything that actually happens in the production of scientific results. It's a useful abstraction for explaining science to novices but not much beyond that.

  17. Denarius Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    well said sirs

    I needed a laugh tonight and got it. Well done both of you. A witty complaint from an esteemed boffin and an equally humorous groveling response.

  18. Stratman

    Real boffins

    wash their hands before going to the toilet.

    1. Jan 0

      Re: Real boffins

      Of course! Nobody with half a brain would want to touch their "manhood' with dirty hands. would they?

  19. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    FAIL

    What's with the degree requirements?

    I did a B.Eng at university, but even so, I don't see why a piece of paper is a requirement.

    There are many people without degrees who could quite rightly be called a boffin - and there are many with relevant degrees who can't..

  20. CPE Bach

    Best Boffin

    James Stewart in "No Highway"(I think) working with Jack Hawkins as his boss at Farnborough and a wonderful scene in the aeroplane he has designed and in mid-Atlantic where Stewart persuades film star Marlene Dietrich to sit with her back to the wall on the floor of the men's lavatory in the event of the aeroplane being about to crash. Neville Shute wrote the novel and presages the tragic Yoke Uncle and Yoke Peter crashes due to metal fatigue. Sorry. Wittered :-)

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Best Boffin

      Always liked that film. Completely predictable plot structure and the characterization is hardly novel, but the acting is solid. A good example of Stewart doing his thing.

  21. cortland

    Assembling the evidence...

    http://www.transfur.com/Users/AlrightOwl/Images/puffinpotion.jpg

  22. Christo99

    OED has:

    ‘boffin, n. . . Origin unknown. Numerous conjectures have been made about the origin of the word but all lack foundation. slang.

    1. An ‘elderly’ naval officer.

    1941 C. Graves Life Line 143 Their ages are as youthful as air crews. Thirty-two is considered the maximum... In H.M.S. Wasps' Nest, anyone aged thirty-two is officially a ‘boffin’. There is even a song about them... ‘He glares at us hard and he scowls, For we're the Flotilla Boffins.’ . .

    2. A person engaged in ‘back-room’ scientific or technical research. The term seems to have been first applied by members of the Royal Air Force to scientists working on radar.

    . . 1957 R. Watson-Watt Three Steps to Victory xxxiii. 201 The proud title of Boffin was first conferred on a few radar scientists by Royal Air Force officers with whom they worked in close co-operation... I am not quite sure about the true origins of this name of Boffin. It certainly has something to do with an obsolete type of aircraft called the Baffin, something to do with that odd bird, the Puffin; I am sure it has nothing at all to do with that first literary Back Room Boy, the claustrophiliac Colonel Boffin.

    3. Brit. colloq. In weakened use: an intellectual, an academic, a clever person; an expert in a particular field; esp. such a person perceived as lacking practical or social skills. Cf. egg-head n.

    . . 1959 Brit. Jrnl. Educ. Stud. 8 24 The man of learning..has been labelled a ‘swot’ or, in our own times, a ‘boffin’ or an ‘egg-head’.’

  23. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    What's a boffin?

    I'd always assumed a boffin is someone who has a muffin with his tiffin. English muffin, obviously, not those vast, cakey American things. Boffins should also consider their work as "tinkering", even if it's "tinkering with plutonium and C4"

  24. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    I agree with the Register; "Boffin" is a term of respect, but more importantly, affectionate respect. One would not, for example, refer to "Hitler's boffins".

    I'm glad the Register has corrected the oversight. One never knows whether one's boffins might turn to the dark side in a huff, and they usually have some new kind of atom bomb in their garden shed for emergencies.

  25. Winters

    All Hail the Boffins!

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