There’s a woset in my reposit

The other day I was talking with someone I met while I was doing my postdoc at Vanderbilt and Eric Schechter’s book Handbook of Analysis and its Foundations came up. Eric was writing that book while we were there. He kindly listed me in the acknowledgements for having reviewed a few pages of the book.

I was curious how the book turned out and so I borrowed a copy through my local library. I was thumbing through the book and saw that Eric used woset as an abbreviation for well-ordered set. If I had seen that before, it made no impression on me. But since that time I have read There’s a Wocket in My Pocket aloud to four children, and so now my Pavlovian response to hearing “woset” is to think “in my closet.”

The context of the line is

“Did you ever have a feeling there’s a WASKET in your BASKET?

… Or a NUREAU in your BUREAU?

… Or a WOSET in your CLOSET?”

If I remember correctly, Eric started out to write a book about partial differential equations and worked his way backward to foundational theorems from analysis and logic. The end of the book discusses analytic semigroups, important in the theory of parabolic PDEs, but the large majority of the book is a repository of abstract analysis.