Back in my university days, I took a seminar with a professor who, whenever the conversation began to flag, would pose the same question in appropriately thoughtful tones: “So, this book we’re talking about is called [fill in title here], why do you think that is?” It’s a bit silly of a question and I’ll confess that as conversation slowed a few of us would glance across the table with knowing looks, waiting for what would inevitably fill the silence. Still, it’s not a bad pedagogical technique. Silly as it is, it would get people talking again and engaged with the substance of the book even if we chuckled to ourselves or rolled our eyes as we were doing it.
[Good advice: don’t be afraid to look silly, but only if you accept an important bit of qualifying advice of don’t try to be silly.]
Which is why for the first post I am going to pose that very question to myself and answer it. I want to get myself talking and this seems like as good a trick as any. It might even be one of the better question I could start with, so thanks Dr. Sullivan.
Continue reading “What’s in a name?”