Poetry on our own terms


Within the SAS documentation there must be thousands of unique words.  But ten words occur more than any others within the SAS documentation corpus: SAS, data, statement, option, set, value, variable,  PROC, model, table.

This is according to one of our staff terminologists, Vicki Leary, who helps to keep our use of these words consistent and clear.  Vicki challenged our internal terminology enthusiasts to write a sentence that contains all of the most frequently occurring words.  Our colleague Len O. came up with this one:

In a variable mood since his option to set a value for SAS was taken off the table, he made a statement with a PROC that allowed him to data good looking model.

(Len admits that the last part is a stretch.)

Vicki then raised the bar (or lowered her standards), and asked folks to submit "bad limericks" based on these terms. She kicked it off with this entry:

Val, you know, was a model from Saskatchewan
Who optioned to set sail on this da ta Iraklion.
To her companion very able
Who shared drinks at her table
Statemented, "PROC-ably, you’re not a Kardashian."

Wow, talk about poetic license.  And I had to look up Iraklion.

Vicki finished her post with a personal challenge to me to do better than that. And thus on last Friday morning, I exhausted all of my breakfast goodie calories on these compositions. Enjoy.

When a MODEL waits TABLEs in movies
Or makes STATEMENTs with DATA that's choosy,
She SETs OPTIONs with flair;
see, it's hip to be square
'cuz SAS has a new PROC that's GROOVY

Hickory dickory dock
The DATA drives the PROC
When EOF equals 1
The PROC is done
And the LOG shows the CPU clock

There once was a PROC named EXPLODE
That, by its name, would seem to forbode
a DATA explosion
with VARIABLE erosion
with only the bits left over to hold.

OPTIONs abound within SAS
With PROC MODEL near the top of the class
Tough to choose the right SET,
with the STATEMENT most said:
"This sure is a pain in the a**" 1

Are you a poet (but we don't yet know it)?  If these musings have inspired you, please add your own in the comments!

1 - PROC MODEL is not really that bad if you know what you're doing...so I hear.


About Author

Chris Hemedinger

Director, SAS User Engagement

+Chris Hemedinger is the Director of SAS User Engagement, which includes our SAS Communities and SAS User Groups. Since 1993, Chris has worked for SAS as an author, a software developer, an R&D manager and a consultant. Inexplicably, Chris is still coasting on the limited fame he earned as an author of SAS For Dummies


  1. Pingback: Be a code poet laureate - The SAS Dummy

  2. Hi everybody.

    A have a dummy question, ¿which SAS course does teach the PROC MODEL?
    I know you could say that the 'real' question is 'What do you need?'.

    Nevertheless that's my question.
    Any help would be apreciated.

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