Short Titles Are Apparently in Fashion,
at least if the titles of forthcoming articles in the October issue of the Stanford Law Review are any guide:
Mandatory Rules by Scott Dodson
Holmes on Emergencies by Adrian Vermeule
Super Medians by Lee Epstein & Tonja Jacobi
The End of Privacy by Jed Rubenfeld
If those articles had only been titled Rules, Emergencies, Medians, and End, respectively, they probably would have been in Harvard. (Full disclosure: my new draft article Untitled will be submitted to law reviews in March.)
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
What, no colons?
10.13.2008 5:19pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
It wasn't in a law journal, but I have a published paper whose title consists of a single Chinese character: 真, which is about as short as you can get.
10.13.2008 5:24pm
If you insist.
Mandatory Rules: The Decline of The Use Of Long Titles At the Stanford Law Review - And How They Can Rise Again!
10.13.2008 5:25pm
alkali (mail):
To the point. Admirably so. Kudos.
10.13.2008 5:28pm
Ben P:
Heh, nice, two of my law professors get mentioned on Volokh within the space of a few weeks. Scott Dodson taught Civ Pro where I go to law school, and Kathrine Sampsion teaches LRW here.
10.13.2008 5:55pm
Dilan Esper beat me to it.

I purposely gave my dissertation a title with no colon. (Perhaps the only think strikingly original in the work.) But catchy titles are controversial: Cambridge U P has resorted to a sort of inversion. Desriptive title copmes first, then catchy title, if any.

10.13.2008 5:56pm
Soronel Haetir (mail):
Bill Poser,

I propose an artitle with an interrobang as its title.
10.13.2008 6:06pm
Any step toward the elimination of bad puns in titles is probably a step in the right direction.
10.13.2008 6:14pm

New this season from Big State U Press--The Colon: Its Employment in the Titles of Academic Publications with an Assessment of the 'Over-usage Controversy'

I truly wish this one had gone out to bookstores and journals without a subtitle. It would have been so much better that way:

10.13.2008 6:14pm
10.13.2008 6:16pm
Constructively Reasonable (www):
I'm thinking of writing my note as


What do you think? Kinda catchy.
10.13.2008 7:35pm
The best that I ever saw on this was

The Two-Part Law Review Title: It Should Be Abolished

or something like that!
10.13.2008 7:40pm
Duffy Pratt (mail):
I've often wondered why footnoting in the title never took off.
10.13.2008 7:42pm
I am as usual terribly unfashionable, and refuse to part with my "[Case Name]: [Bad Pun]" working title for my next article. Meanwhile, time to throw together a quiz: "Journal article title or Culture ship name?"
10.13.2008 7:54pm
Doug Berman (mail) (www):
Great post, Orin, but to be really insightful (and self-serving) you have to connect this development to the rise of blogs and the new Chief Justice. I suppose this will have to be the working title of my next piece to show up in a second-tier journal:

"The impact of the new Chief Justice's commitment to minimalism and the consequences of heavily-trafficked law professor blogs on the titles of law review article: should we blame the new Roberts Court or the Volokh Conspiracy for the demise of the colon and the annoying new necessity to read the abstract in order to be able to pretend you have read an article."
10.14.2008 8:28am