These are not the resting-on sort of laurels: I’m supposed to nominate 15 other blogs and tell you seven interesting (or, according to some versions of the rules, “completely random”) things about myself.
Here are the interesting/random things about myself. As Grammar Girl put it, “This will be easier if we all pretend you care.”
- I made my television debut at age four on the Los Angeles version of “Romper Room.”
- I’m very good at American-style crosswords and word spirals, but hopeless at acrostics and cryptic crosswords.
- A story I wrote for New West magazine about tampons and toxic shock syndrome was nominated for a National Magazine Award. In her bestseller The Coming Plague, science writer Laurie Garrett cited my article as an “outstanding piece of investigative journalism.” That was better than winning the award.
- I named a condom for Mayer Laboratories. (It’s not on their website, but you can read about it here, at least until I overhaul my website.)
- I once wrote a sonnet in Spanish in the style of the Siglo de Oro poets.
- I once wrote five original nursery rhymes for a company that made fancy furniture for children’s bedrooms.
- I have swum from Alcatraz to San Francisco on two New Year’s Days—water temperature 50° F—and on many slightly warmer days as well. I don’t wear a wetsuit.
Beauty Marks. Commentary on trademarks and brands by the smart, funny Jessica Stone Levy, a trademark lawyer who really knows her stuff.
Brand New. Before-and-after analysis of visual-identity makeovers by the team at Under Consideration LLC.
Catch This. The naming blog of Catchword Branding, my esteemed colleagues here in Oakland.
Copyranter. Frequently angry, often profane, usually hilarious takes on advertising copy.
Figaro Speech. Figures of speech and rhetorical tropes in daily life, brought to you by Jay Heinrich, author of Thank You for Arguing.
Johnson. The Economist’s language blog, covering English on both sides of the Atlantic.
Language Log. Group-written linguistics blog. Sometimes academic, occasionally arcane, often very funny, always worthwhile.
Name Inspector. Christopher Johnson’s nom de noms; his blog is “a close look at names and what makes them tick – or tank.”
Not One-Off Britishisms. Ben Yagoda’s heroic pursuit of U.K. expressions that have seeped (or barged) into American English.
Separated by a Common Language. American linguist Lynne Murphy, aka Lynneguist, writes about American and British English from her expatriate perch in the UK.
Throw Grammar from the Train. By Jan Freeman, former language columnist for the Boston Globe.
Word Routes. Ben Zimmer’s column for the Visual Thesaurus, “exploring the pathways of our lexicon.” Unlike my own VT columns, Word Routes doesn’t require a subscription (but you should subscribe anyway).
And because I’ve never met a rule I didn’t want to break, here’s a 16th nomination: Dustbury isn’t a language or branding blog, but it more than fits the “versatile” description. In a typical week, the sole author, C.G. Hill, might cover social media, automobile tires, basketball, My Little Pony, print magazines, transportation in Oklahoma, women’s shoes, and Zooey Deschanel—all with enviable literary skill and brio.
If the abovementioned nominees feel moved to play the game, here are the rules:
- In a post on your blog, nominate 15 fellow bloggers for The Versatile Blogger Award.
- In the same post, add the Versatile Blogger Award.
- In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.
- In the same post, share 7 completely random pieces of information about yourself.
- In the same post, include this set of rules.
- Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs. (Or tweeting.)