IVP - Strangely Dim - Words of Days

August 16, 2010

Words of Days

Every Wednesday afternoon, without fail, the IVP editorial department stops working at 3pm for a half hour of noshing on popcorn. Sometimes we talk about our work or our homelife or our new favorite books or movies. Sometimes we stare silently at each other.


Such is the life of an editor. Editing can be incredibly solitary work, and IVP's publishing program is sufficiently diverse that we often don't know what our nearest neighbors are working on--often, if you can believe it, we don't even know what each other is talking about. There have been times when I've tried not to betray my bewilderment with the expression on my face, as Ph.D.s around the table gossip about the latest controversies in theology or biblical studies, or as spiritual directors argue back and forth over the relative merits of the Cistercian order's extreme asceticism versus the Beguine communities' secular simplicity. Or something like that.

Eventually a few of us decided to entertain ourselves by selecting a word in advance and waiting for it to come up in conversation around the table. Before too long it became a formal contest: The Word of the Day. Someone selects a word, and whoever says the word gets a candy bar; if no one uses the word, the candy bar stays with the person who selected the word. Or something like that.

Lately (and by "lately" I mean for the last fifteen months) we've archived the words. I'm never sure why, but it seems like something worth doing. They represent our department as it is and as it has been, with hints at what has occupied the thoughts of former employees and interns, as well as the newest crop of coworkers. I list them here for public use: write yourself a haiku, or a short story ("Bulbous, verbose Senator Frost stoked, 'Kennedy turned utterly pinko!'"), or take a cue from Rebecca and make your own Madlib. Whatever. Consider it a gift to you from the word nerds in your IVP Editorial department.

words of days.doc

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at August 16, 2010 1:56 AM Bookmark and Share

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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