Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Capital Fs

Yes, I capitalize the Fs in JeFF. I do this in publications (journals and chapbooks, even in my one scholarly publication so far), on my syllabuses, when signing off to family members in a letter or email. Sooner or later folks ask about those capitals. I've got three reasons.

1. The capital Fs were spawned from the way I make my signature. It looks like the Fs are uppercase, which is just a quirk of my writing. But a gentleman by the name of John Greenwood started printing them capitalized in a writing workshop we took as undergraduates.

2. I liked the look. There's a balance to JeFF Stumpo that I don't find in Jeff Stumpo. Somehow the weight at the beginning just looks right to me.

3. It makes people ask. On the downside, somebody might wonder if I made a typo in my own name. That's a rare event, as the two capitals make it appear pretty darn intentional. It's silly and vapid, but it gets me a second look from time to time. Sometimes (submitting poetry without a guardian angel comes to mind) that's needed.

Sorry that the story doesn't involve going through demon trials to upgrade the letters of my name one at a time, and if only I can defeat seven dancing genii by midnight tomorrow I'll get all the letters capitalized. Or a horrific typewriter error at the hospital when I was born, the ramifications of which later trickled into the internet and the untold millions who can't type properly. Or that time I was approached by [insert famous artist/musician/puppeteer here] who granted me a new name in exchange for one of my poems.

Signing off,

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