Under the name "Arnold Zwicky" I have returned to the top of the list of Language Log authors, having spent some time in the guise "Zwicky Arnold" at the very bottom of the list. Let there be wild celebrations! Boundless e-Champagne and i-Bûche de Juillet for everyone!
I'm tempted to say that my months as Zwicky Arnold were a consequence of my having converted to Sinicism (of the Nominal variety) — not, of course, to be confused with Cynicism, a very different sort of thing indeed. But my Transposition to the East was merely the result of my having wearied of attracting rather a lot of e-mail from people offering things for the LLoggers to post about, often in areas I know not a thing about. Many of these were people who wanted to mail their suggestions to all twenty-something of us (I don't know the exact number right now, what with the Grammar Mob storming Language Log Plaza, deleting bloggers, moving new ones into empty positions, and all that, quite surpassing the worst excesses of the French Revolution) at once.
So they wrote to the Guy at the Top, spatially, which would be me, since Arnold edges out Barbara, Ben, and Bill, and Adam is in hiding from the hordes, a click away from visibility (or to the Guy at the Top, administratively, which would be Mark). And then I had trouble passing things on to the others, since after all, the mail had come to me, which made the topics mine.
Now I irk easily, and (as my readers will have observed) I complain a lot, so I whined away relentlessly at my colleagues until the patient Eric — he's in the clinic for an unfortunate fixation on phonology — tried to mend things, in a modest way, by moving me down the list. But he was outfoxed by the wily WordPress, which doesn't allow for hand-crafted ordering, or even (apparently) for family-name-first ordering (which introduces a number of ugly puzzles in automatic ordering). There were other possibilities, though they would have looked even stranger than "Zwicky Arnold": Visiting Professor Arnold Zwicky, under V, or Distinguished University Professor Emeritus Arnold Zwicky, under D. (I suppose I could have tried one of my many aliases. Alexander (a.k.a. Alex) Adams would scarcely have done, since Alex comes before Arnold. Ebbing Craft, Biiig Arnold (a.k.a. B.A. in P.A.), and Wooly (or Woolly, for the sticklers) Mammoth strike people as too frivolous, Rice Highland and Fox Silver as too obscure. And so on.)
I was persuaded to undergo Sinificatory (Sinific, for short) Transposition instead. Eric promised me it would only sting a little, so I steeled myself bravely and averted my eyes. And then it was done.
Now Barbara tells us that she's gotten very little mail directed at the LLoggers as a group (maybe the way people use the web has changed), so I can stop having to explain to people why my name is not like all the others.
I've had the transposition reversed, just this morning. I feel pretty good, though a bit unsteady on my feet, but it will pass, it will pass.
Barbara also noticed for the first time (in 48 years! well, we've all been busy) that my initials — like those of the fictional Arnold Zeck and the real Arnie Zane, my compatriots in ArnZistan, span the alphabet from A to Z. It took Jason Mraz a while to see the possibilities in his own family name, but now he has. (If I'd only stuck with Zwicky Arnold, I could have claimed that I'm from South Africa, or the Son of Za the Pizza Man, or something like that.)
Actually, it's more impressive, since my middle initial is M, which is as close to the middle of the alphabet as you can get, M being the 13th letter of the alphabet and there being no 13-and-a halfth letter. I got the whole AMZ package right from my father, and he got his AMZ from his father MAZ, by a reversal of the first and middle names. (Is there a pattern here?)
The latest name inversion seems to have made me a bit light-headed, and inclined to wander about topically, associating freely with any topic that comes my way. Maybe I'll go lie down for a bit.