Dear Ed

Dire Ed,

I found this in a bunch of references I was editing. Is it sinister?

L.I. Bell, & B. Head (Eds.), State economy and public policy in Australia.

Does it actually mean someone wants to libel and behead us?


Murray Bridge


Hi Murray,

Ha ha! Thanks for that, Murray. I always like having a good chortle to start the day.

Authors’ names are one of the reasons I love doing bibliographies. So many names are unintentionally funny that I can have a good nerdish chuckle at an in-joke that is funny only to me and anyone else who happens to be in the office at the time (which, coincidentally, mostly happens to be me).

Editing a bibliography is a bit like being a beachcomber walking along the high tide line of an ocean beach: you just never know what treasure you’re going to find washed up that everyone else has walked past and ignored.

Here, for your nerdish delight, are some of the treasures I’ve found on the high tide line.

Boring, A.M.

What a gem! I neglected to collect the title, which is a pity. Perhaps it was Don’t Bother Reading This by A.M. Boring. If so, it was probably the most accurate Amazon review ever.

Brain, P.

An honest book, written by someone who proudly declares they are (or have) a peabrain. Astonishing. You can’t buy that kind of honesty. Perhaps we should encourage P. Brain to form a political party. Oh, wait …

Sirius, R.U.

For the lexically challenged, that’s ‘are you serious’, the name of the ‘cyberculture celebrity’ who was born Ken Goffman and published articles in Mondo 2000 (back in the day) and Wired. You can just imagine the exchange when R.U. Sirius is asked his name by anyone wearing a badge and a uniform and serving in some official capacity that might or might not include easy access to capsicum spray.

Brain, M.A.

The wonderfully monikered Marshall A. Brain is the author and head honcho of the How Stuff Works franchise. When all else fails, marshal a brain. Think of Marshall the next time you’re gnashing your teeth trying to get a piece of new software to cooperate.

And, in a bid to round out this list and pretend it’s something other than a list, I’d like to point out the nominative determinism in my own name: Ed. Some are born Eds, some become Eds, and some just like being Eds, OK?

May the Ed be with you,