Where does the name
algebraicthunk come from?
In algebra, a ring is an algebraic structure with two
associative operations (e.g., addition and multiplication) such
that the second operation distributes over the first (there are
more requirements, see the linked article for details). On the other
hand, in the world of music, a ring is the sound produced by
instruments such as handbells. If you ring a bell incorrectly,
for instance by accidentally holding your finger against it, then the
sound it makes is better described as
So: an algebraic thunk is the sound produced when a mathematician flubs an algebraic ring.