Monday, March 1, 2010

In Praise of Ambiguity

In the library world, and particularly in Technical Services, we've got a reputation for being very literal, even unimaginative. Of course, we all know that we're really outside-the-box people with big imaginations and hearty senses of humor.

Fortunately, our work life provides us with the occasional giggle.

This morning, I made a note on the back of an old catalog card from a stash that we use for scratch paper. As I sometimes to, I turned the card over to see the title. It was the wonderfully ambiguous Fighting with Food. You can come up with all sorts of things that it could be about! Knowing that it was published by the U.S. government in 1918, I can infer that it was something about the war effort in World War I, but it still gives me a chuckle.

My previous favorite ambiguous title was 1958 Fish Stockings by Watersheds. I know it's about stocking fish in different areas of Oregon, but it conjures up an image of fish trying to pull stockings over their fins.


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  2. I have a stack on my desk as well. I turned over the top one...
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