What’s in a Name: The “Dummies” Book Series

This is simple commentary, a rant if you will. I believe that the name “Dummies” used by publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc. is just a heinous word choice. It bothered me when I first noticed the For Dummies series (early ’90s?) and it bothers me today. Yes, I feel better letting the world know.

Looking up a Russian phrase yesterday, a top result was found at Dummies.com. Are you kidding me? Using the word dummies to refer to students and seekers of knowledge – or to anyone – is just ugly. I hadn’t known they’d expanded so much. I didn’t even imagine them being “on the internet.” /rolleyes//bigtime/

It bothers me so much, it would probably be impossible for me to do any work for them. How ’bout that.

If consulted, I’d have advised them: Don’t do it – but then they didn’t ask me. However, for word/naming implications and word-work in general, you can certainly ask me: DayLaborProofing@gmail.com.

Expert proofreader and editor, graduate of The University of Texas at Austin (B.A. in American Studies; minors in Psychology and German Language). Background in various fields, including admin assistant in law office, university dept. of psychology, career counseling practice; assistant to entrepreneurs; skip-trace agent for asset recovery; health food café jack-of-all-trades; telecom customer service rep; TV air-time sales agent; high-end retail clerk; web/Internet researcher; along with 25+ years of freelance proofreading, editing, & writing.
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