Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Acknowledge this!

I generally find it interesting to skim through the acknowledgments in a new book and see to whom the author feels indebted, but even I have my limits. Five pages of small type thanking no fewer than 91 people including scholars, librarians, and the author's mother-in-law--well, there's such a thing as too much gratitude. If this were an Academy Award speech, the author would be hauled off the stage halfway through the second page, leaving untold numbers of helpful people tragically unthanked.

With a crowd that big standing between me and the meat of the book, I am reluctant to go on, and if the author requires that much help to write the book, maybe he ought to choose a less challenging career, like writing greeting cards. Or, better yet, he could send a bunch of greeting cards--91, to be exact. What better way to thank a horde of people whose vital contributions made possible a book about greeting cards in American culture?

Like the idea? Don't mention it. Really. No, please, don't thank me. You've already done enough.

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