Friday, November 23, 2007

Bandying Semantics

There was a big, acrimonious (and, OK, kinda silly) debate going on at January HQ today. It involved the title of cable television personality Lou Dobbs’ new book: Independents Day. (“Ah-ha,” I can hear you saying.)

There are factions, here in the office, that say the title is incorrect and, in that, somewhat appalling: that, even though it’s a play on words, it can’t appear in that form without a possessive on the “Independents.”

Other January factions argue that, hey: the book is published by Viking. They’re no slouches in the editing department. And Dobbs himself was a copy editor at the Los Angeles Times in the olden days. Wouldn’t he know if he got it wrong?

Unfortunately, both of the voices that January counts on to know everything in these matters are incommunicado: likely recovering from Tryptophan overdoses or standing in a line at an airport somewhere. Or both. It seems likely that, when they return from their respective family fiestas, the final word will come down. (At which point I may even get laughed or yelled at for posting this in public where people can see. OK, not yelled at. We’re not so big in the yelling department around here.)

In the meantime, we’ve been too busy arguing about the book to actually read it. Copyediting concerns aside, it looks interesting, enough. Though it was a little perplexing to go looking for reviews and not find any. There are, however, lots of opportunities to hear “advocacy journalist” and “independent populist” Dobbs blabbing about various of his passions all over the airwaves and the ‘Net.

The publisher says that “Independents Day is an independent populist’s view of the critical issues and challenges that confront the presidential candidates and American voters as we approach the 2008 election.”

So there.

I’ll let you know if we come up with anything conclusive on this matter.



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