Monday, April 7, 2014

Rules for Referencing?

Happy Monday!

I have a Board Meeting I need to prepare for so today isn't necessarily a "happy" Monday, but I'm still feeling upbeat. :-)

Last night I happened to get an newsletter email from my library with various events listed for the week. I noticed that one night will be an Abbott and Costello tribute.


* Featuring the world's leading impersonators of "Abbott and Costello" performing "Who's on First!"

* This program will also feature a showing of Abbott and Costello's 1955 movie classic "Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy!"

* There will be a special appearance by Perky Peggy King, legendary vocalist, TV and movie actress...who has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a role in the Mummy movie!
Now, Abbott and Costello was obviously before my time, but I have seen a few of their movies and of course, know a few of their famous routines. I even put a small reference in my book Fiancé by Fate to them. My lead character, Sabrina, and her co-worker, Chris, are kind of going back and forth in a cute dialogue scene, where Chris then asks Sabrina, "Who are you, Bud Abbott?"
One of my editor/copy editors asked, "Who's that?"
I was like, SERIOUSLY?????????????
So instead, I changed it a bit to "What are we doing, an Abbott and Costello routine?" to make it more immediately recognizable.
I was still asked to take it out because it was too old and that readers might not know who they are.
Again, I was like SERIOUSLY???????

How old are these readers? Twelve? And isn't it good to have a reference so maybe they'll look it up and learn?
Well, I kept it. (I'm stubborn that way) :-)
Anyhew, I ask you: Do you know who Abbott and Costello are? And if not, do you think it should have been cut or kept in? Do you think there are rules about how old a reference should be?
And here's one of their famous routines:


Karen Walker said...

Oh, that's a tough question, Jennifer. I know who Abbott and Costello are, but I'm turning 65 this month. The references I have trouble with are literary ones from the classics. I get frustrated if I don't understand a reference. But as a writer and a reader, I think if the reference fits the example you are trying to show, it should be there. If someone is curious enough they will look it up and perhaps learn something new and fun!

Old Kitty said...

Who hasn't heard of A&C!? LOL! Oh my goodness I feel so old! I don't know - I'm hoping people who've not heard of A&C would have heard of Laurel and Hardy? Or Fred N Ginger? I hope so! Goodness, how old is old?!

Take care

Maria Zannini said...

Hey, Abbot!!!

Who hasn't heard of them? Well...aside from that editor.

Stacy McKitrick said...

I'm 56, so yeah, I've heard of them. But they've been around forever (it seems), I find it hard for someone NOT to have heard of them.

Now, mentioning just Bud Abbott would have made me think...Who? But Abbott and Costello... yeah, who hasn't heard of them? Oh wait! Your editor! :)

I'm glad you kept it in!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Yes, they're old, but who hasn't heard of them? I would've kept the reference, too.

Liza said...

Consider the age of your reading audience. I know Abbott and Costello, but consider this little story. For as long as I have known him, my husband has had this little dance move he got from the Marx Brothers. Our 20 year old daughter has seen him do it all her life. She mentioned it the other day as his "crazy" dance move, and this conversation followed,
(Me) "Do you know where that dance comes from?"
"No. Where?"
"From the Marx Brothers."
She looked at me, mystified.
"You don't know the Marx brothers are, do you?"
It seems impossible that anyone could not know the Marx Brothers or Abbott and Costello, but there you are.

So I repeat. Consider the average age of your readers and move forward accordingly.

Sandra Orchard said...

Good for you for keeping it! Being on the other side of 40, I find lingo in books that I don't recognize and have to Google. I like to learn something new in a book.