Monday, February 04, 2008

Fast Talk: Alphabetical Order

Sometimes I get an idea for a blog entry but it doesn't really blossom into a fully formed entry in my head, so the darn thing never gets written. But then I thought, why should these little gems lay buried in the deep ocean of my mind, unseen by the masses hungry for my insights? Then I thought I was full of myself.

Nevertheless, I am instituting a new feature here on the blog. At first I was going to call them "Quickies" but hey, this is a blog for all ages, so I settled on "Fast Talk." These entries will be short and sweet but every bit as odd and charming as the full length versions. Enjoy.

Alphabetical Order

Every once in a while someone notices that my books and CDs and DVDs are arranged in alphabetical order and they chuckle at me with the look that communicates sympathy for my obvious OCD. Sometimes there is even a patronizing, "You put these all in alphabetical order?"

But I like alphabetical order. For one thing, there are often delightful little ironies that emerge when things are arranged alphabetically. My movie collection finds Finding Nemo right next to A Fish Called Wanda. How wonderful!

But even more wonderful is the profound elegance of it. A few easy to remember rules and any mass of information -- the titles of every movie ever made, let's say -- can be put into a useful arrangement with due diligence. I get a thrill putting a new title in it's proper place knowing it is in its proper place, Superman modestly moving aside to make way for Spiderman, 50 First Dates and 10 Things I Hate About You sliding in nervously next to 12 Angry Men (in my system, numbers go first before letters, though I could have treated them as if the words were spelled out -- these are judgement calls).

So when my friends snicker at me for putting things in alphabetical order, I snicker back with an equally patronizing, "how else would you do it?"


Ankhanu said...

Hey, I'm with ya. I don't have OCD, but, my media are in alphabetical order... hell, my music collection is in alphabetical by artist, then by release date within an artist. Makes finding things exceptionally simple. (I also use numbers as numerals, not letters)

I've also received that look of incredulity bordering upon pity... it's interesting really.


Anonymous said...

I 100% agree with you and actually give the sympathetic (with the emphasis on the PATHETIC) look to those of my friends who do not, for some very strange reason, arrange things in alpha order. How the heck do they find anything? There is already enough chaos in the world, so I figure I'm doing my part, however small, to organize it.

And ditto on the numbers coming first.


Gayle said...

I don't do alpabetical. I have a weird, loose genre organization, where all my Will Ferrell movies are together, and Napoleon Dynamite goes right next to them in the "Crazy Ridiculous" ouvre; 'chick flicks', 'kevin smith', 'animated', 'science fiction', 'musically-inclined' and 'weepy' are other groupings.

Yeah, I'm weird.

Anonymous said...

I have vague genre groupings for my CDs - although most of them are in a box in a closet as I've MP3'd them up. And those directories are in alphabetical order (and that's good.) My movies are sorted by rough genre type - so the pixar movies are together, as are the action flicks. I think that works well for me because sometimes I want a movie... and it needs to be an action movie... but I want to see the group of them because I'm bored of some of them. ;)

Adam B

Sarah-Marie said...

You have just inspired me to procrastinate my Classics paper and organize my DVD's alphabetically. This will become my new obsession Im sure. It wont spill over into books however because I tend to organize them by size. I like my books to look level and not jagged.

Jessi said...

I organize dvd's and cd's in alphabetical order and books by height. theres a quote by someone I forget who but it goes "organization is for people who are too lazy to look for things"

I am far to lazy to look for things. It drives me nuts when something is misplaced!

Alphabetical order all the way!