No, they don't study noses, though they need skins thick as rhinos' to endure the proboscis-related one-liners that get slung their way. Their jobs vary somewhat from state to state, but you can generally find them sitting in the lowest-salary cubicles at state health departments, tabulating mortality. Nosologists are the grunts who turn stiffs into stats. Hour after hour, day after day, they sift through death certificates, referring constantly to a 1,243-page manual whose heft and agate type might call to mind the arcana associated with that other inevitability in life. This tome, the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, provides the cause-of-death codes nosologists enter in their spreadsheets.