I'm here today to talk to you about titles. Eventually we will talk about titles as pertains to AN but first let me talk about book titles.
A favorite question in the Verbal Reading sections of tests like the SAT is "What would be the best title for this passage?" What a stupid question to put on a test. Whenever I see this question on a standardized test, I think of Maya Angelou's I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. Would that title ever be the "right" answer on the SAT in response to a passage from the book? Just once I would like to see a passage from J.D. Salinger on the SAT with the following question:
1. What would be the best title for this passage?
a. Mental Illness And The Beach
b. A Case For Gun Control
c. More Proof That Life Is Depressing And Meaningless
d. A Perfect Day For Bananafish
That'll take care of those pesky 800 scores.
So sometimes the purpose of a title is to be evocative or poetic. Other times, however, titles are simply meant to be descriptive. Such is the case with job titles, at least when companies can rise above euphemisms like "Senior Executive Operations Assistant" ("She's been here 12 years; she just can't really do anything").
Here at AN, however, we try to avoid euphemisms. If only I could do that on my middle school report cards, where in one "tick box" section I have to choose from options of "Excels," "Proficient," "Developing," and "Needs Improvement". Allow me to get out my "English To Report Card Dictionary" and explain:
"Excels" means proficient.
"Proficient" means "Fine, I guess".
"Developing" means "Developing a headache: Me".
"Needs Attention" means "And boy does he know how to get it."
The great thing about report cards is that you say anything except what you really mean.
Well I should probably get to the main point before I start rambling. What was I writing about? Oh right! Alex Hall. Alex is taking on the newly created position of Managing Editor. This means AN will have someone really keeping an eye on retaining quality front page content, coordinating stories and staff (frankly our staff is pretty uncoordinated, explaining why Charlie Brown recently fired a 3-hit shutout against us in a charity softball game), and helping to boost our presence in something called "social media" that apparently is somewhat popular.
So while I remain "Blogfather" and "writer in charge of bad puns and worse analysis," and baseballgirl continues to serve as a senior writer/game threader also in charge of the Community Guidelines and moderating, Alex joins the mix in a significant role that fully entitles him to begin copping a snooty attitude and referring to others as "the little people". It's exciting.
How does this affect you? Well it doesn't really, other than knowing that this internal reorganizing brings with it a couple positive developments:
- AN is going to have the capacity to spread its budget a little wider, meaning that more of its contributors will be paid for their hard and excellent work.
- AN will have the capacity to bring more front page content (in the form of more contributors) without sacrificing quality. This is important to me because as you might know, I am adamant about putting quality over quantity except when we can have both.
So welcome aboard (or "more aboard"?) Alex, but don't wait up for a room to be named after you because what are we going to call it? Alex Hall Hall? I just don't see that happening.