January 18, 2006

The other James Frey controversy

One thing I learned about James Frey from the whole controversy over the veracity or lack thereof in "A Squillion Kadillion Eensy-Tiny Pieces" is that he has a tattoo that reads FTBSITTTD, which is an abbreviation for "Fuck the Bullshit, It's Time to Throw Down" (if that's even what it really stands for). This tattoo bothers me, because although "BS" is common shorthand for "bullshit", if you're creating your tattoo by taking the initial letters of words, I think you ought to be consistent and render it as FTBITTTD, just as one would abbreviate "My Friends Got Me Drunk and Took Me to Pennsylvania and All I Got Was This Damn Tattoo" as MFGMDATMTPAAIGWTDT and not MFGMDATMTPAAAIGWTDT. But I could be in the minority in caring about this, or in even being willing to consider caring about this.

Posted by Francis at 02:04 PM

You read my mind. Frey needs to tattoo-edit that S off his skin.

Posted by: Orange at January 18, 2006 02:31 PM

Maybe someone needs to come up with a list of things that FTBSITTTD might _really_ stand for.

Posted by: Christopher at January 18, 2006 03:17 PM

God, you can take the copy editor off the job, but you can't ... whatever would finish the analagous aphorism - I don't feel like coming up with it.

All I have to say is, I hope the fact-checkers never get a glimpse at my tattoo. I mean, Angelina Jolie certainly never did THAT with a bottle of whiskey. She couldn't have. It violates the laws of both physics and anatomy.

Posted by: Josh at January 18, 2006 04:42 PM

An even worse scandal is that the media has become so scared it won't stand by its writers. Slate issued a correction after Seth Mnookin referred to it in his original article as an acronym. The editors felt it should be called an abbreviation (http://www.slate.com/id/2134203/). Yet Merriam-Webster is fine with acronym (http://m-w.com/dictionary/acronym). I care deeply.

Posted by: DO at January 19, 2006 09:10 AM

Though Geoff Pullum also cares quite deeply about the fact that it shouldn't be called an acronym.

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Posted by: Christopher at January 21, 2006 03:51 AM

I find it amazing that anyone else could possibly be bothered by that as much as I am. : )

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