Tuesday, January 20, 2009

In related news...

(Well, related to one of the random bullets, I'm sure), the publisher for my edited volume just contacted me to ask if I have any ideas for the cover! Whee!

Unfortunately, I suspect my initial thoughts (only in my head, never fear) of
(a) an epic battle between a giant squid and a fearsome white pointer shark
(b) pretty sparkly unicorns dancing in a meadow of flowers
would probably be rejected as 'inappropriate'. Pfft.

I at least need to specify a colour. This publisher has an unfortunate tendency of going with lime green or puke yellow if the author doesn't request anything different.

So what say you, wise readers? How do I come up with a sufficiently abstract yet attractive and not-stolen-from-anyone-else idea for the cover of a book about grammatical change?


Rebecca said...

I vote for red. It will stand out amongst the chaos that sometimes takes over one's ordered environments. Picture harassed academics surrounded by a flood of papers and towering stacks of publications, overwhelmed and searching for that ONE book...

Voila! It's that red one peeking out from under the avalanche.

Yeah. Red could work.

Although I really liked your two cover ideas. I would have gone for both, one on the front and one on the back. Think of the impact from innocent prancing unicorns AND menacing creatures from the sea. Or maybe next time you and Geekman are having donuts and coffee, you could work on manuscripts instead of jigsaw puzzles and write something to go with those covers.

If you manage to work the squid and unicorns into the same book, I am SO there.

The History Enthusiast said...

Green is always a good color. You could have some abstract design on the front...I don't know that I have anything useful to say, but that's what I got.

Anonymous said...

Red ink leaps to mind. I am thinking about how grammatical change in science has led to a little bit of generational war. Specifically I am thinking of the transition from passive to active voice. Professors ink up the papers of their students to make them write more like them. Student acquiesce and then get inked up again by editors who want them write modern, damnit.

shrinkykitten said...

Please arrange your books by color: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/la/flickr-finds/flickr-finds-categorizing-by-colour-018773

and figure out what color you lack, and make it that color!

StyleyGeek said...

Anonymous, that isn't really grammatical change. That's just register variation. Both constructions are considered grammatical by both generations—it's just a disagreement about what's appropriate for a certain formal style of writing.

An example of what linguists mean by "grammatical change" is, for instance, that Old English used to mark nouns with case endings to show what their function was in the sentence (subject, object, etc), but we eventually lost these and now word order has to do all the work!

Or more recently, people used to say things like, "The harp was bringing down the stairs". This was not only considered correct, but it was the ONLY way to form a passive continuous. A construction like "was being brought" is recent, and was considered clumsy and incorrect when it first entered common usage.