Lots o' links this month, so make yourself comfortable.
Haikuvies: Tell a movie's plot/In seventeen syllables/Spoilers? Sure--why not? (Actually, you get 17 times seven.)
I'm never sure about how internet memes start, but this one started with a typo.
Dan was twittering something about Alabama, but wrote "Alambama". He joked that when Barack Obama wins the election, certain states will probably be renamed Alobama, Califobama, Nevama, Massabama, New Yobama. Of course, I thought that was hilarious and started thinking about other things that would change once Obama wins. So, a few of us started twittering silly little things, thinking of it as an inside joke.
Overnight, a few people caught on giving it a life of its own.
Jason Kottke took this and mashed it up to create this really cool microsite.
I think what interests me the most about these is how fast they spread. It's been less than 24 hours and there are already over 500 tweets about it. Certainly taken on a life of it's own.
Which is the perfect segue to my favorite WOW so far: "When Obama wins ... everyone will know the difference between its and it's." (By 111archeravenue.)
I considered saving this for Halloween, but death is always in season at Fatal Utterances, "a glossary of slang, jargon, euphemism, and cant as used by undertakers, criminals, consumer activists, and the ordinary people." Some favorite entries: bier baron (a funeral-parlor owner), Mrs. Z (a corpse), and Stare Number 12 ("the look that passes over a man's face as he regards another man as a meal").
The idea behind Brand Tags is that a brand is whatever people say it is. Go there and give your one-word impressions of brands like Gap, Starbucks, Yahoo, Greenpeace, Whole Foods, and many more. (It's all over Twitter now, but I heard it first from Rowland Hobbs, whose tags I follow on Del.icio.us.)
The Big Word Project is selling words at $1 a letter. "Search for your word and link it to your website. Your website is then the new definition." Started by a couple of graduate students in Northern Ireland.
You probably know about Stuff White People Like, which reportedly is being turned into a book. (What do white people like? Coffee, Asian girls, Ivy League schools--stuff like that.) Now Andrew Hammel, an American in Germany, offers Stuff White Germans Like: #3 Balkan disco music, #5 custom-designed bookshelves, #11 Paul Auster. (Really? Paul Auster?)
Roy Peter Clark is serializing his next book, The Glamour of Grammar, on his Poynter Online blog (Poynter's slogan: "Everything You Need to Be a Better Journalist"). He's inviting readers to make suggestions and correct errors. His goal is to present "not a comprehensive grammar, but an essential grammar: those elements of language that the reader and writer can use today and every day." Even if you groan at the mention of grammar, read this series: it's lively and engaging and wildly informative. (Yes, glamour of grammar. You knew the two words were related, didn't you? Roy explains in his first installment)
Mike Pope on the seven stages of being edited:
I'm starting to get irritated. What the -- ? That's a stupid edit. And so's that one. Ha! That's just wrong! Smartypants editors, think they know everything! Well, let me just set that editor straight ...
And speaking of anger, here's the Baltimore Sun's John McIntyre on "Those Damn Copy Editors," in which he addresses the complaint of "someone named Seth Godin"¹ that a copy editor "totally wrecked" his work:
Unfortunately, Mr. Godin does not supply a single instance of the copy editor's destructiveness, so it is up for discussion whether he is an injured author or a fulminating boor. (The other texts at his blog do not suggest that revision of his prose would be a cultural catastrophe.)
Catching his breath, McIntyre offers some very sensible suggestions for improving relations between writers and copy editors.
¹ Guru Supremo of hip marketing manifestos and, according to one of McIntyre's commenters, "author of the most popular ebook ever."