Friday, June 15, 2007

New name, same magazine

The new name

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot? - over

is the phonetic alphabet for WTF - over. This is an expression that is often heard over military radios, either as the initials, here, or when someone is really surprised it may just be "What the Fuck? Over." What I find really fascinating is that proper radio procedure is always used - ending a transmission with "over".

It also seems to be a really appropriate name for a web magazine like this, in which I am continually trying to find out "WTF" and understand it. I don't have the answers here, I often don't even come very close to the questions. But with luck, I'll get closer. I will keep trying. This name seems to me to be a better approximation of what this process is all about.

I didn't like "Politics Plus Stuff" much as a name when I chose it, but nothing better seemed to strike me. That was September 2004. It's lasted a lot longer than I ever expected, and it still could stand as a subtitle. If I had the room for a subtitle.

So, here is is. New name, same location, same subjects, same treatments. I hope my regular readers like it. Both of you.

Interesting - the blogger spell-checker recognizes the spelling of "fuck." I find that somehow reassuring. The word as used here is an interjection, not a description of sexual practice. Anyone with an adequate education can pick that up from the context. You remember what interjections are, don't you? You had that in English classes in grades 4, 5, 6 and/or 7.

Also, this new name gives an interesting double meaning to my occasional interpolation in a quote where I will point out "Bolding mine - Editor WTF." :-}


Aaron X said...

Interesting idea, though it might keep you out of the mainstream. SNAFU or FUBAR
might have been a better choice, slightly less provocative, or perhaps they're just a little softer because they have more words surrounding the F. word.

I think I'll call my new blog SNAFUBAR "Situation Normal All Fuck Beyond Any Repair"

Damn, I'm too late it's already taken by some fuck nut named Larry pushing roast pig in Waitsburg Washington.

I guess I'm left with SNAFUBR, it doesn't sound as good, but it's available.

Some good writing on your blog, I'LL BE BACK, as Arnold often said in his Austrian accent.


If I may offer a few aesthetic suggestion, consider changing your background to something a little darker. On modern laptop screens these white pages are just too bright and hard on the eyes. Just darken down the headings to a darker blue, and some kind of shading, gray or light blue maybe. Also darken up the text to a stronger black and increase the font size a bit. This is very small on my screen, which is 1920 x 1200, relatively high definition but it's becoming the standard these days.

These changes will make it much easier to read, and people will spend more time here and maybe even drop a comment or two. Just some friendly advice from someone who's been around the block.

Richard said...

Thanks, Aaron X

I had wondered why so many sites used dark backgrounds. My monitor is about five years old, and I can't read the dark background sites, so I just don't bother going to them.

I'm not too concerned about going mainstream. I've been writing here since September 2004 and I haven't had anything resembling a break through yet. Doubt that I ever will. Though Slate has referenced me twice. The sudden jump in traffic is, to say the least, noticeable. I forget what the first one was, but if I have to write regularly about stuff like the firing of Don Imus, I really don't want to belong to that club.

Instead I am pushing my "retired military" background. Consider me a crusty old retired Army Guy who is less than totally concerned about who is offended by the language I use - and overlook the fact that I was a supply and maintenance office, a lot more comfortable in an office with computers and spreadsheets than out in the mud and gunk. Though I did a little of the mud and gunk stuff occasionally.

I really appreciate the suggestions on look-and-feel. I have several projects for changing stuff, but it is going to be a slow process. Your advice is printed and pasted to my wall of remembrance (behind the monitor) to let me know which direction I need to go.