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If You Could Be So Kind As to Not Destroy This Book

17 March, 2010

The cover of PSmith in the City gently reminds the borrower of the existence of other readers.  The note on the front states: “Please do not destroy this book as others may want to read it.”  The request is signed by a pencil written ‘G’.

Cover (1)

The stamp, dated 1943, on the book’s inside page declares that it is intended for the enjoyment of the citizens of Edinburgh.  The Lord Provost lends his signature, which leads one to wonder how he managed to get his dashing autograph produced on a stamp.  Wouldn’t it be quite difficult and time-consuming to carve cursive into a stamp?  Perhaps I’m not aware of the sophisticated  skills of Stampers Makers.

Untitled 2

The method of capitalization in the above stamp is precisely the method I am trying to adopt.  It may seem random (why is the T of ‘The Services’ capitalized?  Why isn’t the E of ‘every’?) but there is wisdom behind such decisions.  Important nouns are always given the honour of capitalization–perhaps influenced by the German language, in which all nouns are capitalized.  I am attempting to integrate this method slowly, first with titles, than captions and, perhaps, moving into my writing in general (but never in academic essays!  That might not be appreciated.)  So, if my writing sometimes looks odd and as if I couldn’t decide whether to capitalize ever word, it is not that I’ve gone mad; I’m trying to imitate antiquated writing practices.  You may notice that I tend not to capitalize neuter pronouns and determiners; that’s just personal flair I’m tinkering with.

Just a charming extra: the spine of the book shows Psmith hard at work:


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