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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Say goodbye to "by"


These bad and allegedly "great" covers are shown in a promotional book called 7 Easy Steps for First-Time Authors, from BookPal, an Australian pay-to-publish company.

While the "great" cover is better than the "bad" one,  its design is unlikely to win any graphic arts awards, and it has a really stupid error.

There is no need to put the word "by" next to the author's name. Without the "by," people will still realize that A. M. Green is the author of the book.

Using the superfluous "by" on a book's cover is like the signs in store windows that say, "Help Wanted. Inquire Within."

In the 21st centrury there are probably job-seekers who don't understand the quaint 18th-century phrase, "inquire within."

And even without those two words, people who read "help wanted" are still likely to "inquire within." What else would they do, send a telegram?

And, speaking of superfluousness, a bit of fun from my father.
Q: Why do nuns wear crucifixes?
A: So no one will think they're Jewish.

(Putting a colon after the "by" as on the bottom book is even stupider than a simple "by.")

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