Funny Inside Feelings. "The Uncyclopedia" by Gideon Haigh and "Names From Here and Far: The New Holland Dictionary of Names" by William T.S. Noble. [review]
There is a fundamental problem with Noble's book. Nowhere are the principles of inclusion and exclusion explained in any way. The title of the book, despite the fact that ‘New Holland’ is also the name of the publisher, leads us to expect that it is dealing with names that exist in Australia — indeed, the blurb on the back cover describes the book as ‘a comprehensive reference to names in Australia’. There may well be very good reasons why many names do not appear in the book, but those reasons are nowhere stated. While there may be a dig at the seriousness of the standard encyclopedia in the title of Gideon Haigh's "Uncyclopedia", and while the structure of the book subverts the order of the standard encyclopedia, the writer is clearly a lover of the often curious facts an encyclopedia can store. If there is parody here, it is directed at those earnestly serious and seriously dull ‘books of lists’.