Thursday, August 31, 2006

BlogDay 2006

Today is BlogDay, which is all about bloggers finding new blogs and sharing them with their readers (presumably, other bloggers). The site's been crashing, so if you'd like to participate, here's a Google cache of the instructions.

Without further ado:

1) Language Log

Language Log -- well-known but new to me -- is all about linguistics. The site is maintained by University of Pennsylvania phonetician Mark Liberman and features a number of contributors.

Here's an excerpt from a recent post on a topic near and dear to my heart: comma usage. (Aptly, I'm fretting over how to correctly format this passage. Maybe I'm right; probably not.)

In a recent Wired interview, Bart Kosko explains why he's given up commas:
"Q: I noticed there aren’t any commas in your book. Is this your way of cutting back on punctuation noise?

A: Commas are a kind of channel noise. You’re not getting to the verb fast enough. Why make us wait? The comma is on its way out. Use small words. The perfect illustration is a swear phrase: Go to hell! Screw you!"

Hell, why not leave out the spaces, too, andgettothoseverbsevenfaster? Kosko is plugging his new book Noise, and I guess he's newly converted to commalessness, since his previous book, Fuzzy Thinking, was full of them, nineteen on the first page alone.

Take that, you comma-hating hypocrite.

2) Beans, Beans, The Magical Fruit

Beans, a.k.a. Jules of The Bruni Digest, has a very funny blog where she examines anything that tickles her fancy. Her latest post made me laugh out loud:

Paula Deen has Grandson/Snack

"Inn't he just so cute? I'm 'onna just put a little buttah right on up on 'is forehead here and dip his diaper in som heavy cream and take a little bite o' that baby. Mmmmm idd'n that just a sinful li'l buttery ole baby up in theah? Mmmm thasss juss delicious!"

3) Not Martha

Megan tackles Martha specialties -- household hints, decorating, crafts -- in a decidedly not-Martha fashion. I especially love her How To Make Stuff archives.

4) Eclectic Librarian

I love bookstores but I frequently leave frustrated: "How can there be this much published crap?!?" I'm especially annoyed by what's been dubbed"Chick Lit" ( if published today, the cover of Pride and Prejudice would have Elizabeth Bennet wearing sensible flat shoes, horn-rimmed glasses and a plaid skirt, while Jane trotted around in Prada and Jimmy Choos).

Therefore, Anna won me over with this post:

Fans of the chick lit genre have had a fairly easy time of finding new books to read. Regardless of the publisher, one can almost pick out a book from the genre by the cover. For the most part, books that specifically target women readers are a guaranteed success, and nearly all major publishing houses have jumped on the chick lit bandwagon with their own targeted imprints. Therefore, it is no surprise that now a handful of publishing houses are creating imprints that focus on women readers but are decidedly not chick lit books.
One such imprint is Voice, created by Hyperion's publisher Ellen Archer and Viking's Pamela G. Dorman. Voice is aimed at women aged thirty and older, and it will not include anything resembling chick lit. The imprint will focus on issues that concern women who have chosen to balance their careers and family, and which are not covered elsewhere in the mainstream media. Archer says, "I felt that I, as a 44-year-old woman, working, married and a mother, did not see my life reflected in any of the media stories."
The first five books will be released next month, including a book by Vanity Fair contributing editor Leslie Bennetts that argues that women who choose to be stay-at-home moms lose out on the financial, intellectual, emotional, and medical benefits of a career outside the home (The Feminine Mistake). Another book included in the first round of releases is an anthology of essays edited by Karen Stabiner about life after the children leave home (The Empty Nest).
Archer and Dorman plan to use a panel of ten professional women to assist them in adjusting the focus of the imprint. The panel will meet twice per year, and will also serve as a way of getting out the word about new titles. Friends and colleagues of the members of the panel will be sent copies of the books.
Studies have shown that more women buy books than men. Generation X women and older with careers and families tend to have more available money that could potentially be spent on buying books. It remains to be seen if these women are as interested in non-fiction books that focus on issues specific to their demographic or if they prefer to escape into the surreal world of chick lit.

5) The Gilded Moose

While chick lit annoys the hell out of me, I do love a nasty bit of celebrity gossip. I'd cite an example from the but "words and other things belong to The Gilded Moose and may not be used without permission." So just trot over there and see things for yourself.

Tags: Blogday


Anonymous said...

I must have been living in a cave this week to have missed this.

Lis said...

I must have been right with you, peabody.. I totally missed Blogday.

But I'm glad you didn't, Laura Rebecca - cool sites! I look forward to checking them out =)

Laura Rebecca said...

I almost missed it myself. But nothing is stopping you from still doing it! It would be fun to see what you guys suggest!

Harry and Eddie said...

Laura, I'm so with you on the comma issue. As a former court stenographer, bad punctuation drives me crazy. Comma use, periods, quote marks definitely seem to be on the way out. People either don't know how to use them or are just too lazy. Now, don't even get me started on poor spelling and text messaging!