Grateful acknowledgement goes to

Frances Dinkelspiel at Ghost Word points to a WSJ article about the Acknowledgement sections of books (Diane Keaton was thanked in the acknowledgements of one book; she did nothing—nothing!—for that particular book). My, how they’ve grown of late, those book acknowledgments. Frances says she turns to the acknowledgements (or, as I call them, “acks”) first thing. I totally relate.

I read most of the article with amusement… as book authors admit to citing names of people in order to mend relationships, apologize for misdeeds, and the like. What curious souls, those authors. To use the acks to do that? Really! I thought about that while mentally comparing with what I did for my own acks sections of three Bryce tomes, (see how they run), and that other one.

Originally, acknowledgments appeared primarily in academic and nonfiction works. In both genres, authors are obliged to cite references and to thank those involved in lengthy research. Acknowledgments then began creeping into the crime genre, as some detective writers turned to pathologists and coroners for authenticity.

Just so, I thought. It’s a long list of those who helped in some fashion. It’s written at the end, and the author’s words both droop from weariness and rev up with punch drunk glee that there’s just two or three more things to do and then I am so out of here. And yes, a bit of worry that I might have forgotten someone along the way who pitched in. But the outta control acks described in this article? Naaaah.

Until I suddenly remembered a thanks or two.

From RWB4, known to the early readers of this blog as TFB:

In the category of essential infrastructure, I am grateful for the following: Southern California Edison sold me an unceasing supply of electrons on which my portions of this book took shape.

An electric utility company. I thanked a utility company. Okay, okay. Slap me until I snap out of it. But…. you know how “they” talk about how doctors order more tests as defensive medicine, in case of malpractice suits? Well, that utility company went in for a laugh, but I felt confident I could whip out the book in a tax audit in case the IRS came after me for deducting a larger portion of my annual electricity bill than the office in the home square footage calls for. And I also thanked Trader Joe’s for setting up shop in my ‘hood and also mentioned my caffeine source. Oh, and (it was early days of blogging) I also thanked Dave Winer and UserLand for making blog space available where I could instantly kvetch while working toward an “ever-receding publishing date.”

Uh. Yeah. Um, strange things in the acknowledgements, eh? I am so busted.

2 responses to “Grateful acknowledgement goes to”

  1. Learning The Lessons of Nixon » Blogher: Turbulence Edition

    […] Susan Kitchens: “An electric utility company. I thanked a utility company. Okay, okay. Slap me until I snap out of it.” […]

  2. Frances

    Well, if you thanked So Cal Edison, I sure hope you remembered to thank
    your mother.