Contents:[About Titles to Make You Smile. | The Articles]
About Titles to Make You Smile.
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“Titles to Make You Smile” is a bibliography of oddly-named books, serials
and other materials found in the collections of the Stanford University Libraries
and other libraries nationwide. I collected most of the citations on an occasional
basis during the course of my regular duties at Stanford. Others were pointed out
to me by co-workers. They were published as an occasional to regular
feature in the Stanford University Libraries’ online newsletter,
SUL News Notes (later SUL/AIR News) from
Jan. 31, 1992 through March 30, 2001. A few additional more recent postings are unique to this site.
The titles are not always inherently ammusing. As my initial editor
put it in introducing one entry, “[i]t was suggested that most of the
records included ... are not technically silly (at least as defined by most
dictionaries). Let me assure everyone, though, that [our] intent ... while
recognizing that many of the titles are serious works of scholarship, is to
provide records which might strike some as humorous, whether or not the
author's intent was to be amusing. For example, the title Foundations of
fuzzy reasoning is a serious work which also sounds funny to some. (I suspect
that some of those knowledgeable in the field of fuzzy systems have chuckled over
the name of their field of expertise, as well.) So, please excuse us if we use the term silly very loosely.” (Tom Holt, 9/25/1992)
I gratefully acknowledge the efforts of current and former colleagues who contributed
citations and occasionally whole articles to this series, and apologize to any I might
have overlooked. Contributors include:
Tatiana Barr (1 article),
Grace Baysinger (3),
Elise Brown (1),
Roger Cabanel (2),
R. T. Carr (1),
Molly Carroll (10),
Heida Earnest (1),
Jeff Earnest (1),
Sharon Hom (6),
Andy Norton (2),
Jill Otto (1),
Senia Pasiliao (1),
Rose Rajeff (6),
the “Recon Gorillas” (1),
David Rozkuszka (1),
Barbara Shaw (1),
Geoffrey Skinner (32),
Cath Tierney (1),
Marianna Tubman (1), and
Stephen Volz (1).
Tom Holt, first editor of SUL News Notes, also contributed
significantly to the appearance and format of the articles and provided the series
with its final name. As intimated above, his editorial comments peppered a number
of early articles as well. Two non-colleagues, Emma Lee Yu and Michael H. Arshagouni,
were among the winners of a bibliographic search contest I ran at one point.
The first article in the series appeared as “A Silly Record Found During the
Great Card Pulling Project.” Subsequently the feature ran under the titles
“More Silly Records,” “Silly Records,” “Another Title to Make You
Smile,” and “Title Smiles,” as well as the name ultimately chosen,
“Titles to Make You Smile.” All articles are assembled here, regardless of
the title variant originally used. Later articles in the series were also subtitled
and organized around common themes, as shown below.
For a time a companion series called “Barcode Titles to Make You Smile”
sometimes took the place of the main feature. It ran from Aug. 21, 1992 to May 21,
1993. This feature was initially titled “Some Silly Barcodes from the Great
Barcoding Project,” later titles being “Another Silly Barcode” and
“More Silly Barcodes.” These articles are also included below.
The Articles.Back to CONTENTS
This list is complete through the final article published in the
Mar. 30, 2001 issue of SUL/AIR News, and includes as well additional more
recent postings unique to this site. The date
appearing after each article title is that of the issue of SUL
News Notes or SUL/AIR News in which the item
originally appeared, or of its initial posting here, in instances of postings not previously published.
Links are provided to the texts of the articles.
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May 12, 2011.