A blog about life, language, writing, and other trivia.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Two Things

1. Lisa Ede is visiting BGSU right now, and man is she impressive. I mean, I've read her work, so I'm not at all surprised at how intelligent she is. But I'm amazed at how gracious, energetic (without being kinetic or anxious), and interested in others she is. She is one of those rare people who can instantly turn what always has the potential to be an awkard, fits-and-starts grad student/faculty lunch into a warm, engaging, and inclusive conversation about both academic and non-academic subjects. And we got to talk about Oregon wine at dinner last night. Bonus.

2. The Fall 2008 issue of Composition Studies just came out, and there's an irritating editorial change to my review of Helen Foster's Networked Process (or two, depending on whether the combining of two paragraphs, in which an important topic sentence that governs the entire summary section gets buried halfway through the new paragraph, was editorial or accidental). The opening sentence of the text as I wrote it makes a reference to "4C's," a construction whose blatant numericalness was perhaps too cavalier for the buttoned down MLA style. Fair enough; I can see why CCCC might be the preferable option. But the new, edited text reads: "You can't throw a rock at a CCCC convention these days . . . ."

You probably know people who like to complain about this usage, since the first C in CCCC already stands for "convention." And if you don't: Hi. Nice to meet you. Didn't I see you at the ATM machine earlier? I have wondered whether, were the usage to become common enough, we wouldn't just choose to absorb it into the acronym, making our annual conference CCCCC. After a few iterations the conference could become the 7C's, with a pirate theme to mark the inaugural meeting.

I really shouldn't complain, I know. A book review may only be a drop in the tenure bucket, but it's still a drop. And I'm grateful for it. Besides, this post just begs the publishing gods to smite me in my own editorial efforts. But I haven't been posting much lately, and this is what's on my mind.

So smite away.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New(s) Media Writing

There are still a lot of people, both inside and outside the academy, for whom strictly alphabetic, written literacy is still the sine qua non of thoughtful, engaged, and--presumably--effective critique. But The Daily Show again (see previous post) employs a seemingly simple method, but one using multiple modes (written script, video, audio, design/composition), to launch a trenchant critique of contemporary political discourse:

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