On Twitter, I noted that CCCC's theme this year ("Making Waves") led many to employ strained analogies in their panel proposals. This is not a new phenomenon: a couple of years back, as Colin pointed out, the theme "Taking it to the Streets" launched hundreds of similarly named panels.
This is a recurrent issue. When I was SIGDOC program chair, we decided to forego a conference theme because of these tendencies. But CCCC is prety well locked into supplying conference themes. And the broad nature of the conference means that these themes tend toward the broadly metaphorical rather than the specific ("Making Waves" rather than "Improving Editing"). It's the broad metaphors with no specific referents that cause the problem.
But surely we can do better than "Making Waves" or "Taking it to the Streets." So I announce the 2008 CCCC Theming Contest. Here's the ground rules:
- Entries should be one sentence or phrase that supplies a metaphor appropriate for a CCCC theme. It's got to be a metaphor. Make it fit within 140 characters, like a tweet.
- Metaphors should be broadly applicable to writing, or at least as broadly applicable as the actual themes above.
- The more outrageous, the better.
- But obscene, bigoted, or otherwise unacceptable entries will be deleted.
- You don't have to be a CCCC member to participate.
- Entries are due by June 18. (CHANGED: May 23.)
- Entries can be submitted in the comments of this post, via Twitter (@spinuzzi), or in a comment to this blog on FriendFeed. Twitter preferred.