Sunday, 28 February 2010

No Seax Please, We’re Canadian

As part of a recent redesign of my website I've added a number of Wordles to illustrate the text of the excerpts from my novels. If you want to create your own Wordle, click here, but suffice it to say you can design your Wordle using one of a selection of fonts, that Wordles are very popular with teachers trying to get their students interested in language, and that the site has a comprehensive FAQ section.

Hence the following somewhat entertaining FAQ and answer:

Could you remove or change the name of the "Sexsmith" font? I don't want my students to see it.

Yes, with pleasure. First, please write to the musician Ron Sexsmith, after whom the font is named, and get him to change his name. You may also want to write to Sexsmith, Alberta, Canada, and see if you can get them to change their name before any of your students inadvertently consult a map. Christian rocker Paula Sexsmith ought to be in your sights as well; don't let her feel left out. Take a slapshot at goalie Tyson Sexsmith, while you're at it.

"Sexsmith" is a common surname and placename, especially in Canada. It's analogous to "Shoemaker", "Fletcher", or just plain "Smith"; it's a profession. A "seax smith" was someone who made seaxes.

The place-names Middlesex, Essex, Sussex, etc., all derive their names from the seax.

If the children of Boston and its suburbs can grow up in Middlesex county, perhaps giggling occasionally at the mention of the sheriff or courthouse thereof in local news broadcasts or 5th-grade geography lessons, then I believe that the children of the world can weather the mere sight of those letters, in that context. Good luck!

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha! Absolutely awesome, I love it! Definitely the best blog post I've read all week! :-)