In one of Monthy Python's series there was this animated cartoon (by Terry Gillian) about the eminent yellow danger, world wide communist conspiracy that finally causes dental canker and severe tooth loss in people of the free, western countries. To combat this threat, all people in the free western world should therefor use the new toothpaste "Crelm", making the teeth resistant against the communist conspiracy. This was really a fine irony about the hypocrisies of the commercial advertisement business.
Today I was reminded to this crazy Monthy Python sketch, while a colleague of mine from the Cambridge Sanger Center gave a talk about stem cell's involvement in cancer progression. Inhis talk I heard for the first time about a new kind of mutation in the p53 gene, called the communist mutation. What this should be ? Is this a mutation that causes a disorganization of tissue architecture ? Or will people who carry the communist p53 mutation develop persistent revolutionary ambitions ? Or maybe cells which acquire this communist mutation turn red, like those transfected with a red-fluorescence protein ? So I asked the scientist during the next coffee break what characterizes a communist p53 mutation and if there are also capitalist ones.
First he did not understood my point, but than he started laughing and excused for his northern accent. He said that he meant that this mutation is the "commonest" of all the mutations in this gene. But shouldn't this correctly be called "the most common mutation" ?
I had never expected that I will propose the correct English grammar to an Englishman from one of the famous red-brick (hic!) Cambridge / Oxford colleges.