Canehan, a sometime commenter at Languagehat, has started his own blog, An Old Hack. This is going to be great. Not only did Calahan once live in my home-away-from-home, Amman Jordan, but he also had my secret dream job–he was a reporter for a major news service.
What exactly is an Old Hack? Says Canehan, it’s a self-depreciating British journalists’ term for a grizzled old veteran who can do the job and has no illusions about being a star. It’s a term that’s not age-related, but just means veteran or experienced. I would love to be an “Old Hack”–it sounds so worldly and jaded and Guy Noir-ish–more serious and atmospheric than the Lois Lane kind of thing, but Canehan says it’s a term that’s only used for guys.
What’s a “Canehan” and how do you pronounce it? He explains that all here.
And the hat?–it’s an Akubra, the signature hat from Canehan’s native Australia.
Some people learn once when they are young and in school and then stop learning. For me, learning has been a lifelong adventure and has often taken place in non-traditional ways or outside of academia. My discovery of writing came late; I owe it to an editor who encouraged me by introducing me as “a journalist” before I even had my first piece published. I can’t begin to tell what a thrill it was the first time I saw my name in a byline. It’s a greater pleasure than even chocolate, and I do take my chocolate seriously!
So I will be very eager to see what Canehan has to say about the Middle East…and about writing.