Monday, February 12, 2007

Spell checker couldn't have saved me this time.

Sweet Jesus, this is the most boring post ever. I just have to be up front about it.

This morning I was putting together a list of Library of Congress Subject Headings for speech communication.

Okay, be honest. Did the preceding sentence read something like this?

"This morning I was putting together a list of blah blah blah blah blah."

It's okay. You can admit it.

If you don't know what Library of Congress Subject Headings are and you're curious, click here. I have to warn you, though, too much reading of this sort can make you comatose.

If all you want to do is stare at pretty, swirling colors on your screen, click here. I have to warn you, though, you may think you're on an acid trip.

In a nutshell, Library of Congress Subject Headings are the accepted words/phrases used to indicate subject matter. For example, you may be surprised to learn that the official subject heading for "cooking" is actually "cookery". Or maybe you don't really care. But in any case, now you can go to the library and do a subject search for COOKERY and everyone will think you're the shit.

Or the librarians will, in any case. They may even scream, "THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!" and crush beer cans on their foreheads, just because you made them so happy.

Or if you want to continue searching for cookbooks all willy-nilly with whatever random words you see scrawled on the bathroom wall, well, that makes my heart hurt just a little.

But I still like you.

The point is, if you know the official, agreed-upon words for your topic, it's easier to search for information on that topic. So this is what I was doing for speech communication: coming up with a list of subject headings that people can use when they're doing research on speech communication.

Still with me? Or are you still here?

So here's the list I'd come up with so far:

Body Language
Debates and Debating
International Relations
Interpersonal communication
Language and Culture
Man-woman relationships
Mass media
Nonverbal communication
Oral communication

Then I went to add "Oral Pleading" to my list. But instead I typed this...

Oral Pleasing

...and sent it off to a co-worker in an email.

A few minutes later she replied:

Wow. Do you think I can get my husband to sign up for some speech communication classes?



Blogger Frema said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Frema said...

I had no idea so much work went into creating key search words and phrases. My sister-in-law, does, though. She's a stay-at-home mom right now, but she also has a master's degree in library science.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

lol. an insurance company, where i used to work, called contraception "family planning"...does the library follow suit? :)

12:27 PM  
Blogger His suzy said...

I would TOTALLY sign up for the class!! lol

12:44 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

I took a college course titled "group communication" once. Too bad you weren't the one creating the syllabus. It would have made it much easier to stay awake during class.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Bearette- the LCSH for family planning is Birth Control. But Contraception is also a LCSH.

1:30 PM  
Blogger bdogg_mcgee said...


I nearly choked on my sandwich when I read that.

I also thought that "Debates and Debating" actually read "Diabetes and Debating," and was initially puzzled at that one. Durr...

1:56 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...


There was an article on recently about a class in NYC (of course) where men could "practice" such skills (using balloons and peaches).

And I'm only including that in my comment to temper the nerdiness of my jealousy that you get to spend your days hunting for subject headings.

9:09 PM  
Blogger Iamthebookworm said...

Ick! LC Subject headings! I'm sorry, but I'm glad it was not me.

And the pretty swirling colors link was a bit disturbing :-)

9:32 PM  
Blogger Caffeinated Librarian said...

Let me put it this way: I have a list of topics for a rainy day and one of them is a rant on who could have possibly thought that "Children, Abnormal and backward" was an appropriate LC subject heading. (It's from the old catalog...luckily someone came up with a better term.)

So I call your "boring" and raise ya.

BTW, I noticed you mentioned Charlotte in a previous post. I grew up there - love the city. But I hate to tell you that it's not the place to escape crazy driving or strip malls. Although after where you live (or where I'm guessing you live), just about anywhere else will be an improvement in those two areas. Best of luck with finding a new place!k

12:32 AM  
Blogger BabelBabe said...

i love it, you nerdy librarian, you! and i mean that in a complimentary manner.

this might be (the only place) where i can confess that sometimes i do this sort of thing FOR FUN - usually while trapped on the desk. (and all you non-librarians get your minds out of the gutter there!)

9:07 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

< gutter >

Babel- Yes, but does your fun involve peaches or balloons?

< /gutter >

1:56 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Lisa- I read your comment five times and kept thinking, "Huh? What skills?"


And also: Ha!

And also also: Peaches? Really?

Bookworm- I'm glad it wasn't you, too.

Caff- Thanks. M's dad is planning to drive us all over tarnation (tarnation = North Carolina), so we'll tour more than just Charlotte. I've heard good things about Charlotte, though.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

I'll never be able to eat another peach without thinking about licking it's luciousness. Or hear the term "big, juicy peach" without snickering. ;)

5:06 PM  
Blogger Suse said...

This puts that T.S. Eliot poem in a whole new light.

6:52 PM  
Blogger BabelBabe said...

i saw that balloons as "baboons" and was....momentarily confused and revolted. But balloons makes it...all better?

9:44 AM  
Blogger Rude Cactus said...

HA. Oral pleasing. Hi, I'm 12.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

This is awesome! I haven't had to do LOC subject headings since library school, I forget just how whacked they can sometimes be.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

My husband would like me to sign up for that class too!

3:54 PM  
Blogger Elsa said...

HA! That's a riot! Don't you just love typos!

BTW, I noticed you are reading Self-Made Man: One Woman's Journey into Manhood and Back by Norah Vincent. I read it last year and really found it fascinating. Norah Vincent was pretty courageous to go ahead with her "experiment". Her experience was insightful. I'll be curious to find out what you think.

1:20 PM  

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