Random Thursday: Spell it out for me

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā):  the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s acquired during the week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as actually sitting down and creating real content.


Spelling Rant

David Mitchell is one of the many British comedian/professional panelists I’ve added to my list of braincrushes this past year.

His rants, while sometimes digressive* and usually nitpicky, are always full of delightfully irritated snark.

And I’m sure you agree that his voice is perfect for them.**


A Random Small Thing

An editor of a state historical society press called the library the other day to ask about a few local images her authors might want to use for a cover.

We talked policies and procedures—and fees—and then she mentioned that one of the articles on our departmental website was very well-written, and had just the information she needed to get a brief historical overview of the events that are explored in the manuscript.

It was one of mine. And the article is going to be cited in the book.

How cool is that?


Ceilings . . . Nothing more than ceilings . . .

Stephen Fry is many, many wondrous things, but unflappable isn’t really one of them, especially when someone repeatedly doesn’t get it on Q.I.***

Here he is debating spelling rules with a panel of comedians, experts and some young actor who looks vaguely familiar and seems like he might know something about spelling (Hey-O!):

And now I’m confused . . . thank heavens for spellcheck, or the title of this section would have been all wrong.

Literary Body Art

Found a book in the library on Monday when I was looking for something else, which is usually when the magic happens:

Click to see the book trailer, which is a hoot, if slightly NSFW

I’ve been thinking about a tattoo for several years now and while I finally have a solid idea in mind, it’s a bit . . . elaborate for a first timer.^ But a phrase or line from a favorite poem or book might be just the thing to start with—but which one?

I’m just a smidge spoiled for choice . . .

I checked out the website that started it all, where I lost a considerable about of time and gained far too many ideas to count, including the one to the left, which I’ve bookmarked for later.

So I asked around.

Cha Cha and I ended up having a favorite quotation contest over a game of Words with Friends, during which we agreed that “Not all those who wonder are lost“, which is technically a misspelling, still works.

I asked Grace what she would do.  She thought about it and said she liked the idea of using the MARC^^ Coding for cataloguer (082 04 $a 025.32092 $2 23 ^^^)  but wasn’t sure where to put it.  I suggested her spine, since she doesn’t have a title page, but she said on a spine she would have to use a book label instead, which was just a tad whimsical for her.

My husband suggested, “She who controls the spice controls the universe!”  accompanied by an image of a small bottle of diet Pepsi.


I turned to books.  Terry Pratchett’s DiscWorld series provides a lot of great quotes about books and the way large collections of them bend time and space.   L-Space (short for Library-Space)  very simply put, links every library in the Universe, which means a trained Librarian can,  with a little effort and a certain amount of risk, put hands on literally any book he or she needs, even if it’s in a small bookshop in Orion’s Belt.   The Three Rules for Traveling Through L-Space might be handy to keep close for emergencies:

  1. Silence
  2. Books must be returned by the last date stamped
  3. Do not interfere with the nature of causality

Then again, The Hobbit has some great one-liners that can be easily explained without a degree in  inter-dimensional physics:

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something”

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

“Never Laugh at Live Dragons.”

Or even:

“He took to writing poetry and visiting the elves; and though many shook their heads and touched their foreheads . . . and though few believed any of his tales, he remained very happy to the end of his days, and those were extraordinarily long.”

Though if I go that far, I might as well go ahead and add Librarian Smaug.  And there are too many books that I love as much as Pratchett’s stuff and The Hobbit—while I do have ample canvas, where would it end? °

Maybe poetry?

A simple “Like this.” on my wrist in honor of my beloved Rumi?  Or, “I wandered freely as a cloud” or something by Dorothy Parker . . . or Chaucer . . . or Dante . . . or anybody but Thomas Hardy.

Not helping.  At all

Louisa May Alcott provided one solution that fit better than anything I’d previously found:

She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.”

But then it hit me, the word that describes me and encompasses every one of my literary loves and the repetitive explanation of which probably won’t irritate the bejesus out of me.


Now all I need to do is choose a script . . .

*He has a way of latching onto very small things that aren’t entirely the point and running with them until dragged forcibly back to the subject at hand. Which, come to think, is what footnotes are for . . .

**He also has lovely eyes and should always wear dark red or other dark jewel tones to set off his coloring, though I have no idea why I’m giving fashion advice to a man I’ve never met and probably never will meet, though those are the kinds of people I should give fashion advice to—if I did, which I don’t, normally—as they can’t give my ensemble the once over and smirk in a pot-kettle way. Speaking of digressions.

***Or the panelists band together to thwart him.

^A Smaug-like dragon reclining on a hoard of books, peering at (or over) a volume through pince nez glasses on a chain.

^^MAchine Readable Cataloging

^^^Which, I’m told by someone who didn’t pass basic cataloging by the skin of her 611.314:

082 = MARC field for DDC 0 = Full Edition of DDC 4 = Assigned by agency other than LC

$a = Classification number subfield $2 = Edition number subfield

025 = Operations of libraries, archives, information centers
025.32 = Descriptive cataloging
025.32092 = biography

023 = Personnel management
023.2 = Professional positions

° Which is when a journalist friend suggested “—30—“ and the perfect place to put it.  The conversation veered slightly off-topic at that point and will not be recorded here.