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Language Log

Friday, Mar. 23, 2007 - 2:04 p.m.

Topic for today: ACEOs.

These are "Artist Cards Editions and Originals"-- little works of art that artists trade and some people collect. Allegedly, the only rule about them is that they conform to specific measurements-- trading card size-- 2 1/2 x 3 1/2.

This is one fact that gets mentioned every time someone asks "what's an ACEO?" in the forum.

You know, I'm a bit of a contrarian. (I know, I hear the small chorus of "oh, REALLY?"s) If I see a rule, I ask, "why is that a rule, and why should I obey it?" If it's a safety rule, I obey and then ask; but if it's a clear confection of a rule like this one, I like to poke at it a bit.

I find it especially ridicule-worthy that ARTISTS-- that group so notorious for going their own various ways-- made up an arbitrary rule and now really really want to stick with it. "Well, I guess by definiton it wouldn't be an ACEO"...what 'definition'? There's a social agreement, no more, no less. On one hand, I understand: the idea is "no rules, except...". Others hear the "no rules" and love it, I hear the
'except' and want to give it a little kick. Just for fun.

I never claimed I was mature.

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