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Poll #1195592… - Sally's Journal
May 29th, 2008
09:39 am

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Diana Wynne Jones - how to catagorise in a library

W
47(46.5%)
J
51(50.5%)

Orsen Scott Card - how to catagorise in a library

S
23(23.2%)
C
74(74.7%)

Organising fiction books by genre

Good idea
46(46.9%)
Bad idea
38(38.8%)
... and I know some great classification system I'll tell you about in comments
2(2.0%)

"blow job"

is a phrase that can be used to mean cunninglingus
0(0.0%)
is NOT a phrase that can be used to mean cunninglingus
7(6.2%)
is an odd phrase to use to mean cunninglingus
5(4.5%)
generally just means oral sex on a man.
7(6.2%)
is just a generic colloquialism for oral sex with either gender
1(0.9%)
Your polls always end up sex obsessed at the moment
5(4.5%)

(100 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
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From:ex_robhu
Date:May 29th, 2008 08:51 am (UTC)
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Sex sex sex sex sex sex sex :-)
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From:atreic
Date:May 29th, 2008 08:54 am (UTC)
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Are those lustful thoughts I'm seeing, Rob? ;-)
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From:several_bees
Date:May 29th, 2008 08:58 am (UTC)
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I only think organising books by genre is a good idea because I like pretty much any system of classification, mind.
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From:simont
Date:May 29th, 2008 08:59 am (UTC)
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I would file Orson Scott Card under C because one of his introductions refers to his wife as Kristine Card and hence I infer that Scott isn't part of his surname. I don't know where I'd file DWJ because I haven't done similar research, so I would be unsurprised to find her filed in either location.

Organising books by genre: I used to do it, and I used to organise my music collection the same way, but I have gradually come round to the view that it's a bad idea because other people can't reliably work out where to put things back. Single large alphabetical order, therefore, where practical.

I have heard "blow job" used when a woman is on the receiving end, but not at all frequently. Following the RFC793 Robustness Principle, therefore, I would be open to the possibility that that was what it meant if someone else said it, but not say it myself if that was what I meant.

Edited at 2008-05-29 09:03 am (UTC)
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From:geekette8
Date:May 29th, 2008 09:04 am (UTC)
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I think you may be the first person in the world ever to have applied an RFC to oral sex :-)
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From:randomchris
Date:May 29th, 2008 09:04 am (UTC)
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"Blow job" is as I recall actually derived from naval slang, and the original phrase meant cleaning out pipes by putting a blast of water through them. So given the origins, I'm pretty sure it can normally only be used for oral sex on someone with male genitalia. (God, I can't believe how PC I've become.)
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From:simont
Date:May 29th, 2008 09:11 am (UTC)
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You're conflating etymology with current meaning. On the same principle, one should reject any use of the word "geometry" that didn't involve measuring actual land :-)

eta: in fact this is a particularly cool example, I've suddenly realised, because it would render the phrase "Euclidean geometry" a contradiction in terms!

Edited at 2008-05-29 09:15 am (UTC)
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From:geekette8
Date:May 29th, 2008 09:13 am (UTC)
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I don't know if you'd call it a "great" system, but mine are divided into sub-sections as follows:

- Pratchett
- other comic fantasy
- science fiction
- crime/mystery/detective fiction
- poetry
- comedy not-fantasy
- classics (Dickens, Jane Austen, Brontes etc)
- young adult
- other

It's not ideal (there's obviously overlap) but it does mean the "other" category is not unmanageably large.
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From:atreic
Date:May 29th, 2008 09:16 am (UTC)
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I've found two problems so far that I want a system that fixes:

The rats of NIMH books - the sequals were written by his daughter, who has a different surname. I'd like series of books together, and I can't work out how [I was thinking alphabetical by the author of the first book in the series?]

I want my biography of Oscar Wilde with my books by Oscar Wilde. Maybe this is just Wrong.
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From:neoanjou
Date:May 29th, 2008 09:30 am (UTC)
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Have you ever been into the QI bookshop in Oxford? They have a rather eclectic system of characterisation which places books which are related to each other together, but not with a necessary attempt to ensure that every book can be placed into a category... i.e. from what I recall there is a category 'here' which has both guides to Oxford and Oxford based fiction. I like the idea of intermingling science, fiction and philosophy, and (this may be an advantage or disadvantage) as a system it can never be finished, and thus you can have fun endlessly rearranging and re-categorising books.

As I'll often buy books in series, or which share ... how to term it... branding or whatever I tend to place these together on shelves.
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From:pozorvlak
Date:May 29th, 2008 09:43 am (UTC)
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Harry Potter is filed under "Revenge", IIRC. Great shop.
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From:pozorvlak
Date:May 29th, 2008 09:47 am (UTC)
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You really want to ask sebastienne this, but IIRC the standard thing to do with authors with multi-part surnames is to file them under the last part. Hence George MacDonald Fraser goes under F, not M. Anyway, a couple of minutes on Wikipedia indicates that both Scott and Wynne are middle names, so you should file them under J and C anyway.

And now that I've opened by being helpful, I've saved up enough karma to point out that it's "categorise" and "cunnilingus" (unless you were making a joke I was too thick to get?). Sorry for pedantry, but I am writing a PhD thesis on categorification...
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From:randomchris
Date:May 29th, 2008 09:55 am (UTC)
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This is not 100% accurate - e.g. Ursula K. Le Guin definitely goes under L, not under G (this confused me seriously last time I was in Blackwell's and they had her filed under G - you wouldn't address a letter to Ms Guin, you'd address it to Ms Le Guin!)
(Deleted comment)
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From:aardvark179
Date:May 29th, 2008 09:48 am (UTC)
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I don't like classification of fiction by genre, mainly because all the interesting stuff is on the edges, and you always end up looking in several places, what really annoys me is people who complain that bookshops shelve their favourite genre with some other one that they hate, e.g. science fiction with fantasy.
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From:neoanjou
Date:May 29th, 2008 09:57 am (UTC)
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Its often been said that in any truly rigorous definition of the genre of Science Fiction, then William Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' should count.

One of my favourite novels features everyone in a region going blind, and the consequent collapse of society. Is this Science Fiction? Not according to most book shops; I suspect mainly because the author has won a Noble prize.

So, erm yes. In conclusion I quite agree ;).
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From:pavanne
Date:May 29th, 2008 09:48 am (UTC)
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For what it's worth, most bookshops I've looked in have filed Wynne Jones under J.
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From:juggzy
Date:May 29th, 2008 09:52 am (UTC)
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Yeah. Should be called suck job, or lightly flicking with your tongue job.

Also, does the Wynne Jones double barrelled bit arise out of her combining her surname with her husbands? If so, find out what her maiden name was - the Wynne or the Jones - and file under that.

Edited at 2008-05-29 09:53 am (UTC)
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From:kateqp
Date:May 29th, 2008 09:54 am (UTC)
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Having once worked in children's books Diana Wynne Jones was under Wynne if I recall. Her name works as Andrew Lloyd Webber's does, invisible hyphen. Orsen Scott Card is Card. I tend to sort fiction by genre, sci-fi, fantasy and other things set obviously outside this world is one, arranged in author clumps by sub-genre. Contemporary-set/chick-lit is two. Historical, things written to take place in the past or things that were written in the significant past, go chronologically by when they are set. Non-fiction reference that links with a work of fiction, like a biography of an author, goes where the largest clump of the author's work is. Non-fiction that exists to be non-fiction on its own is arranged by subject.

My project for soon is to attack the anarchy of the bookcases and subject them to this tyranny once more.

kqp
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From:naath
Date:May 29th, 2008 09:55 am (UTC)
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I'm dreadful with author names in the respect you are asking about, but in *my* library I tend to use the middle name... (MZB comes under Z, also I haven't decided whether LeGuin is an L or a G and maybe I should put her under K...).

I sort into 'sf&f' and 'not', 'not' is further divided into 'novels','textbooks' and 'true or largely true books that aren't textbooks' (which includes biographies); textbooks and 'true' are divided up by subject matter before author, 'novels' are just by author. 'sf&f' doesn't divide neatly into 'sf' and 'f' so I don't except that Tolkien gets his own section (along with 'books about Tolkien') and is sorted by first author then series, but don't have any serieses by multiple authors and I probably *would* want to shelve them as series, I think if I had more TV-tie-in novels then I'd have them shelved by TV series (alphabetical by the person responsible for the series; Star Trek comes under R, Star Wars under L).

Oh, and in true UL style all categories are further divided into "paper back", "hardback" and "annoying" prior to actual shelving.

I have in the past contemplated shelving along some entirely arbitrary lines such as spine colour or ISBN number (OK, less arbitrary maybe) or 'where it fits' and merely using a catalogue to find things - this is helpful because in a catalogue books can have multiple tags whereas you can't shelve one book in several places.
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From:naath
Date:May 29th, 2008 09:58 am (UTC)
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although what you can do if you are really torn about where to put a book in your system is write it's name and it's eventual location on an index card and put that card in the other place where you think you might look for it.
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From:phlebas
Date:May 29th, 2008 09:55 am (UTC)
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Organising by genre is as good a system as any, I think. Of course many interesting things cross genre lines, but then plenty of interesting books have more than one author or dissimilar titles from other books in the same series. Personally I've pretty much given up on anything beyond 'try to keep the same author/artist/series/director together'.
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From:alitalf
Date:May 29th, 2008 09:58 am (UTC)
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Sex is good, but it seems physically possible to do more reading, specially when you reach my age;-) Actually I think I would go for "reading leave" rather than "gardening leave" if there were a choice of either.

I would classify by genre if I had much fiction that was not fantasy or science fiction. The two sub-genres seem to me to go well together, and sometimes overlap anyway. The occasional detective story, romance, or whatever by a writer whose fantasy or science fiction I read goes on the shelf with the rest by the same author.

Non-fiction is in my office and is classified by type - textbooks are grouped by subject area, as are computer books. Data books are generally grouped by manufacturer, but there are fewer of those because, for the most part, it is quicker, easier, and better, to download the pdf data sheet when I need it and store it in the directory for the project I am using it on.

Occasionally this can mean that there are several copies of the same information on my hard disc, but when I archive it, the necessary information for the project is all in one place so that, at least in theory, if someone needs to ask questions about it a long time later, I can access info even if a semiconductor I used is now obsolete.

This all seems terribly organised - you two must come to dinner some time and see how organised I am not!

Edited at 2008-05-29 09:58 am (UTC)
From:emarkienna
Date:May 29th, 2008 10:02 am (UTC)
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(I like this method of increasing responses to polls.)

[*] If I was asked to give a blow job to a nice lady, I would probably not debate with her about the terminology.

Although it's an interesting point that there doesn't appear to be a female-specific slang term for cunnilingus? I'd be more freaked out if I was asked to perform "cunnilingus" as it sounds so technical, usually it's "go down on" in my experience.
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From:atreic
Date:May 29th, 2008 10:03 am (UTC)
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"cunnilingus - if you can pronounce it properly, you're probably good at it" Mmm, tongue twisting...
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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:May 29th, 2008 10:08 am (UTC)
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1. After a little thought, I think the correct method of filing is to find out if the extra name is a middle name or second part of surname. (Not always in the legal sense.) However, probably the most useful thing is to file them as they are most commonly filed, and doing so pedantically correctly is just a heuristic to achieve that :)

A more fraught question is Good Omens under P or G :) I generally go to P because I was introduced to it from reading Pratchett books, but now I've read several Gaiman, it almost seems more Gaimany than it did before.

2. I think it's entirely dependent on your personal collection. If you have different categories of books you see in very different ways, filing them separately can make sense. If not, then not.

3. It's not something I hear used commonly enough to have good evidence, nor have I surveyed it. So I just ticked what I thought. Namely that it originally refers to oral sex on a man (as you can sort of tell from the name), but that by a natural extension, if you described giving a blow job to a woman, everyone would know what you meant (even if they said "huh?" first), so the meaning is slowly extending to cover it, but I don't know how far it's got.

(Did anything particular inspire that question?)
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From:atreic
Date:May 29th, 2008 10:10 am (UTC)
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Of course, I could lift out P and G from the general alphabetical, and then put Good Omens on the border between them...
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From:woodpijn
Date:May 29th, 2008 10:59 am (UTC)
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You could always file alphabetically by the whole name as printed (which usually means by first name).

My mum does this with her CD collection. It's so much simpler - you don't need any background knowledge about what's a middle name and what's part of a surname, and you don't need to make judgement calls for band names that include a person's name (Buddy Holly and the Crickets; Dave Clark Five).

The only problem, if you did that with books, would be when different editions of an author's work write their name differently, e.g. you wouldn't easily be able to put a book by "Louisa May Alcott" next to its sequel by "L.M. Alcott". But you already get that problem with noms de plume regardless of what filing system you use - you'll always have to make an exception if you want to put books by "Mark Twain" and "Samuel L. Clemens" together.
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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:May 29th, 2008 11:37 am (UTC)
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:) That's interesting. It would really drive visitors mad! :)
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From:oedipamaas49
Date:May 29th, 2008 11:11 am (UTC)
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There really should be (hence, probably is) a website to resolve this kind of question for you. Almost all the judgment calls have been formalised into rules by Very Serious Librarians, so you should be able to pop in your author name, chose which library's rules you're following, and be told where to put the book.

Admittedly, that takes all the fun out of it...
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From:ashfae
Date:May 29th, 2008 12:58 pm (UTC)
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Of course our books are separated by genre and alphabetical order. Am compulsive librarian, what do you expect? *gryn* Fantasy/sci-fi, fantasy/sci-fi short story collections, poetry, classics, non-fiction, general fiction, "other stuff"...even librarians have use for an "other stuff" category. At least temporarily, until we figure out where they should go. ;)

The whole point of a classification system is that the users (whether that's a two-person household or a university) should be able to find what they're looking for. Clearly this will never be perfect, largely because classifications systems end up being linear while information is much more of a web. One reason why most librarians are so psyched about the internet and computers; it lets us organize things in non-linear fashion, which is awesome and far more accurate.

Anyway, also clearly what constitutes making something easy to look for will vary depending on who's likely to be looking for it. If only two people, make up your own, more power to you, and why not?

Generally speaking (my library is organized along "the rules" because they're drilled into me) Jones for DWJ, Card for OSC, LeGuin for UKL, because those are all the surnames. The middle bits are part of the name, but aren't the surname (the Le is a prefix to the surname and thus goes with it).

Library of Congress is WAY superior to Dewey.

Finally, blow jobs are good. Mmmm, sex. Talking about books turns me on anyway. No wonder I love my job.
From:ext_72852
Date:May 29th, 2008 01:32 pm (UTC)
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if you don't file your books at all, then when you want one, you have to browse over all the bookshelves. In no time at all, you know where all your books are anyway.
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From:forestofglory
Date:May 29th, 2008 05:31 pm (UTC)
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I had my books filed by genre for a while. (I even had different coloured starts for each genre) However I found that I couldn't decide what genre a lot of books belonged to, so I gave up on that. Now books are just by author, and I have good idea who wrote what in my personal library so it not a problem.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:May 29th, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC)
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Arrange by quality.
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