Excisions: 1

I mentioned in a couple of previous posts that I decided to excise a number of the memes that were going to be part of my book. It was sufficient for a meme to be excluded that I did not envisage being able to write anything of interest (to me) in the commentary on it. I have now set myself the goal of posting the excised memes here, in an occasional series, and trying to write something of interest (to me) about them, thus proving my decision to exclude them mistaken! Also, in this parergonal space around the book, I will write about the memes without the pretense that their maker is someone other than myself. I am curious to see how this affects the nature of my writing about the memes.


This was posted on Facebook on February 21st, 2016. It is the first of a group of memes that deal with being in analysis. (Mostly, in the memes, I use the term “analyst.” Here, for reasons I can no longer recall, I have used “therapist.” My preference for the term “analyst,” I fear, betrays a kind of seedy one-upmanship on my part – of which I am not proud! – as if to say, “I’m not talking about any old therapy but honest-to-goodness, genu-ine psychoanalysis.” I wonder if I wasn’t deliberately trying to slap down that tendency in myself by here going with “therapist.” Indeed, as I write this, I now feel I remember that very thought process.) I decided to omit the meme from the final tally because it is quite similar to, though not quite as good as, another, later meme.

I do slightly regret leaving this one out because of the acronym in Batman’s speech bubble. I believe it is the only acronym in the whole corpus. I especially like that there are periods after each letter (not wholly unusual, but certainly on the punctilious end of orthographic practice) and that the exclamation mark at the end follows the period after “I.” I did, however, miss a trick on this one. (And had I not missed it, I would almost certainly have retained the meme in the final book.) If I were composing it now, I would have put exclamation marks after each of the letters. So it might have looked something like this:


Or even, to assign a new slap to each initial, something like this:


However, I composed this meme near the start of the Batman Meme Project and I had not yet seen just how important the exclamation mark would be to the whole endeavor. Nor did I then have the technical competence (or the vision!) to make an animated GIF. (By the way, does it appear to anyone else in the animated GIF that Batman has had a quick shave for the “M”?)

Incidentally, I called what is in Batman’s speech bubble an acronym, but there is some controversy over the applicability of the word to formations like “T.M.I.” Some people require that an acronym be pronounced as a word and use “initialism” or “alphabetism” for cases where the components are pronounced as letters. Acronyms, in this narrower sense, can also be formed from the first syllables of words (satnav, Benelux). There ought to be a phenomenon called “syllabilism,” analogous to initialism or alphabetism, where, instead of making the initial syllables of some words into something pronounced as a word, one pronounces them as syllables. For obvious reasons, this seems harder to envisage than an initialism since those syllables are also pronounced as syllables in an acronym. But there might be cases where their pronunciation varies depending on whether one thinks of them as individual syllables or as composing a pronounceable word. Perhaps in the (syllabic) acronym “satnav” the emphasis is clearly on the first syllable, whereas in the syllabilism “sat nav” both syllables are stressed equally (a spondee rather than a trochee). And of course, the difference would show up clearly in writing: “satnav” (continuous) versus “sat nav” (with a space in the middle).

Well, I’ve succeeded so well that I am really sorry now I have excluded this meme! Really, I’m almost thinking of putting it back in! There are three things here – “analyst” versus “therapist,” exclamation marks after each initial, and the difference between spoken and written versions of acronyms – that would, especially if developed a little more extensively, have made for a really nice commentary in the book!

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