Monday, January 17, 2011

super long titles

I have spent time lately looking through a cartobibliography for a work related project. It contains lists of old maps, some images of them, titles and other descriptive info.

I remember when I took 10th grade biology and our teacher read aloud the title of a book he'd written. It was the longest title EVER and the class sort of snickered at that. Not too many years after that I realized that a lot of academic writing and papers have ridiculously long titles. Since the title may very well be the only thing a prospective reader sees, the author wants it to be explanatory. Then there are the authors who write vague or "punny" titles. Those can be attention grabbing as well. But.

I've discovered that antique maps fall into the former category. That is, their titles are ridiculously long. So long, that the cartographer might give up halfway through and write something like this:

A Map of North America
With the European Settlements &
whatever else is remarkable in the
West Indies, from the latest and best Observations.

That is a real title from 1745! It's my favorite ever:)

I should name my future memoir in that vein:

LRH: the story of her life, love, and whatever else is remarkable in 100,000 words or less

So long, and thanks for all the fish.