Acronym headache (a new way of scholarly poetry)

Who would have thought that it would take me such inner energy to settle on an acronym for my ERC proposal? Certainly not me two months, when everything had to be written and all I had was an acronym and a title.

The general title was a common creation by me an Anna: “Linking Literature. Romantic networks in the digital age”. I logically opted for the acronym LiLi, which had the advantages of being short, catchy, pronounceable, clearly connected to the actual project title, and, well, on the flowery side of the world.

But then it became clear that the closeness to the journal LiLi was likely to give way to confusions, because both relate to the same disciplinary field. I can, of course, totally ignore this objection. After all, the acronym is only of use within the evaluation process and, should the project be funded, in the EU-database. It is not like I have to name the project’s website identically to the acronym. And whatever the acronym, there will always be a firm, a film, a person, you name it, that will reach more google hits than my research project.

What is really annoying me is this idea that, in an awesome future in which I would have this project funded, someone who would have seen said project evoked in some EU-report would, when looking for it, land on the journal website and wonder about a possible connection between the journal and the project (which there is not).

In order to create a corporate identity, even for a research project, you need your project name or acronym to be all what LiLi is – short, catchy, of such sort that people actually memorize it without any difficulty. I have been having this exact same debate for a year and a half with the TELotA team with regard to my digital edition. I have not decided on a definitive, catchy domain name, and kept the long URL so far, because I am convinced that this is not the final form of this edition – it is still in many ways experimental. With my ERC project, on the other hand, I want to do something that will be basically digitally stable.

So, what do you think? I suggested LiLiNet, but my husband said it sounds like a startup from the 80s (as does anything ending with “Net”). I am more or less considering LiRoLi, which is fun in French (since it means “reading in bed”, “lire au lit”), but not really impressive in any other language known to me. I have to decide by Friday and will gladly consider any creative approach!


Anne Baillot

I studied German Studies and Philosophy in Paris where I got my PhD in 2002. I then moved to Berlin, where I have been living & doing research ever since. My areas of specialty include German literature, Digital Humanities, textual scholarship and intellectual history. I am currently working at the Centre Marc Bloch in Berlin as an expert in digital technologies for the humanities.

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1 Response

  1. Sophia says:

    What about: LiLit?

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