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I'm Anna of Cleves, I am

This quiz seems to be making the rounds; I spotted it at Rana's place.

Which of Henry VIII's wives are you?
this quiz was made by Lori Fury

Congratulations! You are Anna of Cleves!

Anna of Cleves got the royal shaft. She came all the way to England to become the fourth wife of Henry VIII. Once married to Anna, he refused to consummate the marriage, and called her the "Flanders Mare". Talk about a burn, considering that by this time, Henry was the fattest man in England and had a rotting syphilis sore on his leg.

Anna was miffed, but she was too sensible to let it ruin her fun. She was given an annulment and a fat yearly allowance, and she threw extravagant parties and dined on delicacies for the rest of her life.

MLA v. APA: Weigh in!

I've been thinking a lot lately about style guides after this post of Nels' and some conversations I've been having. My own experience with style guides started in high school, with the de rigueur research paper, using MLA style. At the time, our teachers treated MLA like a religion. We had to bring our MLA handbooks to class every day, and we pulled our desks together in circles and had long discussions about how the title of a book was underlined, but the period after the title WAS NOT underlined, etc. I did everything I was supposed to do, without having any idea why, what the meaning was, or even what the letters "MLA" stood for. Eventually I learned, and everything was fine.

Then, at about the end of my master's program/beginning of my PhD program, I was encouraged to use APA instead. As with MLA style, there was no clearly stated rationale for using APA, but I did it anyway. Now I use APA pretty much all the time; I have it internalized as I used to have MLA style. I've even forgotten a good bit about MLA style.

There are implications here, of course. The choice of style guide is an identification maneuver, especially the choice between MLA, thoroughly ensconced in the humanities, and APA, unambiguously social scientific. I never wished to align myself with the social sciences (not that there's anything wrong with those, and moreover, I've heard it comes in handy to make your research look social scientific for grant applications), so now I want to make an informed decision about what my new default style guide is going to be. So let's analyze this; what are the advantages of using MLA? APA? I'm starting a list of the journals in my field(s) organized by style guide, and I hope you'll add to it:


Community Literacy

Computers and Composition



College English




Whatever Style You Want


I'd also like to include specific series in rhetoric and composition published by university presses.

But there's more to be said about the affordances and aesthetics of each style guide. Like Nels, I prefer that all the words in titles are capitalized, and I don't like the omission of authors' first names in APA, either. I'm not crazy about IMRAD format for research papers, which I've been encouraged to use at times and which APA format espouses. I guess the only thing I like about APA is the dates in citations and the appreciation of placing research in a chronology. I like to be able to see multiple citations in one parenthesis, a survey of the research on a given topic at a glance. That parenthesis tells me quickly how many articles/books have been written on a particular topic, how far back in time the research goes, and when the most recent work has been done. I guess I could do a similar chronology in MLA, though, but in a more narrative form.

What are your thoughts on style guides? I know I've only scratched the surface here. I especially want to hear from those of you who have used several different style guides (notice Chicago isn't even here yet).

McLuhan on Poker

This one's for Pi:

Games...can provide many varieties of satisfaction. Here we are looking at their role as media of communication in society as a whole. Thus, poker is a game that has often been cited as the expression of all the complex attitudes and unspoken values of a competitive society. It calls for shrewdness, aggression, trickery, and unflattering appraisals of character. It is said women cannot play poker well because it stimulates their curiosity, and curiosity is fatal in poker. Poker is intensely individualist, allowing no place for kindness and consideration, but only for the greatest good for the greatest number -- the number one. It is in this perspective that it is easy to see why war has been called the sport of kings.

Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media, p. 240

Two mighty fine reads

Oso Raro's got an excellent reflection/tribute post about Invisible Adjunct. He even refers to this old thing, a seminar paper I wrote back in the day.

Norbizness is asking us to "summarize the last five years of the Bush Administration and the nation's experiment with all GOP governance in one Simpsons quote or exchange." He ended up opening it up to lines or exchanges from Aqua Teen, Futurama, and other shows too.

Make that three mighty fine reads: I was just thinking about this oldie from Joanna: Sabbatackle! I know the grading is over for most of y'all, but the post still cracks me up.

I want this print

Should I shell out the $80?

Limited Edition Poster
This gorgeous, limited edition poster celebrates the 150 year anniversay at the St. Paul Farmers' Market. You can purchase one of these limited edition prints directly online via PayPal, or by printing out the order form available at right for offline ordering. Designed by Lowertown artist, Chad Nestor, in the agri-lithography style.

I'm going to start taking this eat local thing more seriously.

Also, Chris Clarke writes:

I myself have unwittingly bought tomatoes that were picked in California, shipped to Massachusetts for packaging, and then brought back to California for sale. Figuring a diesel semi gets around 5 miles per gallon, that's about 1200 gallons of fuel for one truckload's round trip. The US burns millions of gallons of fuel each year just moving food cross-country, and the notion of eating seasonal produce seems to be dying out with the local family farm. And produce picked early eanough that it can travel cross country before it ripens just tastes bad. Compare the best supermarket tomato you can find with an ordinary one from a backyard garden. The difference is astonishing.

No doubt. No tomatoes are better than the ones my mom and grandmother grow. Although Clarke doesn't provide a source for that California/Massachusetts claim, it does sound plausible.


  • I cringe in anticipation of Tina Fey's joke about this story on tonight's SNL Weekend Update.
  • Would it be so bad if I had the following meal? -- waffles with maple syrup, followed by a dessert of popsicles and yellow cake with chocolate frosting?
  • What are the pros and cons of getting a seven-year fraud alert on your credit report?
  • This summer I'll be teaching Rhetoric 3401, Internet Communication: Tools and Issues (one syllabus here, another here). If any of you have any tips on teaching online courses or suggestions of readings to assign, I'd love to hear them.
  • Recent reads: Down Came the Rain, Brooke Shields' memoir of postpartum depression. It was surprisingly good, but this is of course coming from a general fangirl who, while a child, had a Brooke Shields doll. Also, Life As We Know It by Michael Bérubé, which I've already recommended. I'm now reading Woolf's To the Lighthouse (for the first time!), and will probably read Writing a Woman's Life by Carolyn Heilbrun next.

Hangouts for Burnouts

I love to read the hilarious 5ives, but I rarely feel compelled to respond to any of them. Today, however, I read Five places where the burnouts would hang out and smoke in junior high:

1. The Tree
2. The Bridge
3. The Pit
4. outside the Red Baron
5. Scott’s dad’s trailer

and I was struck by how familiar it sounded, the vagueness of the referents. I guess you're always trying to elude people then. Here are places from my high school days:

  1. The Dirt Road
  2. The Rock Pile
  3. The Country
  4. The Pipe Dream
  5. The Hacienda

What are yours?


First, some old stuff I should have blogged weeks ago: the posts at Crooked Timber and 11D about Unequal Childhoods, a monograph by sociologist Annette Lareau. The book description from Amazon, for expediency:

Class does make a difference in the lives and futures of American children. Drawing on in-depth observations of black and white middle-class, working-class, and poor families, Unequal Childhoods explores this fact, offering a picture of childhood today. Here are the frenetic families managing their children's hectic schedules of "leisure" activities; and here are families with plenty of time but little economic security. Lareau shows how middle-class parents, whether black or white, engage in a process of "concerted cultivation" designed to draw out children's talents and skills, while working-class and poor families rely on "the accomplishment of natural growth," in which a child's development unfolds spontaneously--as long as basic comfort, food, and shelter are provided. Each of these approaches to childrearing brings its own benefits and its own drawbacks. In identifying and analyzing differences between the two, Lareau demonstrates the power, and limits, of social class in shaping the lives of America's children.

Admittedly, I haven't read the book, and I'm sure Lareau probably accounts for this, but I don't recall reading in the threads at 11D or Crooked Timber any consideration of families in which one parent is middle class and the other is working class (obviously the class position of the family would be one or the other -- or neither. I'm talking about the class backgrounds of the parents). Presumably, assuming each parent is equally involved in childrearing, the child would get some of both "concerted cultivation" and "accomplishment of natural growth."

Alex Reid has some interesting thoughts about not getting podcasting. He gets it, of course; the thing is, he just isn't all that impressed, heh.

How Tyler Cowen cooks blackened fish.

The only pictures that were taken of me at CCCC.

I command it! Read this review of the new collection of Elizabeth Bishop's previously unpublished poetry, Edgar Allan Poe & the Juke-Box. And listen to this interview/slide show with Alice Quinn, the editor of the collection. Seriously, I do command it.

While you're at the New Yorker's site, read Relatively Deprived, a critique of how the poverty rate is calculated.

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