It’s all very happenstance, but a series of events led to UPPERCASE magazine devoting a two-page spread to me and my work with Tweed. UPPERCASE is “a magazine for the creative and curious.” While its focus is not academics, scholarship fits that tagline pretty perfectly, wouldn’t you say?
The piece’s headline, “Lady Luck,” reflects the curious circumstances that led them to feature me. (I won a lifetime subscription, totally by chance.) But the deck—in academic parlance, we might call it a subtitle—really gives me a kick: “Academic Editor by Day, Word Scout by Night.” With or without the thematic sash I made, I guess “Word Scout” must henceforth be my superhero name.
(Any ideas for a catchphrase? “Forget cookie time, it’s book-y time”? “Be prepared . . . with reams of reading material”? “Wherever there’s print media, I’ll be there”? “Book this!”?)
Erin Bacon, the writer of the piece, quotes me sharing why I do what I do:
“It’s important to me that academic writing has at least the potential of engaging with broader culture. The field of my own research is scriptures and cultures, so I suppose it’s obvious that I have a fascination with the printed page and how humans create meaning through text.”
The good folks at UPPERCASE have given me a discount to share with you all: the code contributor17 will get you $10 off a subscription or renewal. Don’t think of this as you might a subscription to (now defunct) Newsweek or Us Weekly, where half the pages are advertisements from companies who have paid handsomely for your attention. No, this is like receiving a full-color, large-format book every three months. Stores throughout the United States and Canada stock UPPERCASE, too. (Nota bene, I have no financial stake in your purchases.)
If you get your hands on a print copy, you’ll find out what Tweed has to do with nasal swabs, which of my Word Scout badges is triply layered with meaning, and what I do with my own stacks of (non-UPPERCASE) magazines—it involves eviscerating them with pinking shears.
Here’s a preview of the current issue, which, I’m excited to note, is dedicated to stationery. I do love visually interesting print ephemera. (As a kid, I collected brochures and menus whose designs I liked.)
And here’s something you can do right away to inspire your creativity: visit the UPPERCASE blog, to which you can subscribe via RSS (that’s what I do).
Stay creative! Stay curious!
Maybe: “Write all in caps, and I’ll kick your ass!”
It doesn’t quite rhyme, but that’s Sir-Mix-A-Lot’s problem, you’re Word Scout.
Donkey Kong (Thomas), that’s great, especially since this is UPPERCASE magazine we’re talking about!
As an aside, I’ll share that I considered the many ways of treating the publication’s name: all caps, initial cap only, small caps, italics, nonitalic, etc. Chicago style makes clear that writers are not beholden to the curious capitalization of organizations like Ikea (IKEA), but there is some acceptance of so-called camel case (e.g., “iPod”). Since this isn’t formal writing, I opted to follow the magazine’s own style with all caps—but I couldn’t abandon the habit of italicizing periodical names.
Thanks for the suggestion, Donkey Kong. Let me know if you come up with anything else. I’d really like a short catchphrase, too.
Continuing the superhero theme, I will think of you (unofficially) as the “protector of the printed page”.
I imagine your catchphrase would be most useful in times of improper word usage or a similar scenario wherein your expertise is called to edit — both in emergencies and library term papers, so it has to be dually useful in plain speech and in elevated alarm. I think“Watch those words!” is suitable for your purposes. It is a mixture of “Stop thief!” and a “Only you can prevent forest fires”, depending on the context and the emphasis.
You may need a cape with that sash. Are you prepared for this?