That little conversation led to this
, which led to that
and the other thing
, and to many other things like it
, by many other people
. Before long, for better and
worse, and to the surprise of those of us who first used the term casually among a small audience of collaborators on Twitter -- we began seeing "-ac" and "alternative academic careers" cropping up everywhere, from job ads to newspaper articles to major statements by professional associations. By the time the 2012 MLA convention rolled around, we were explaining the Usenet joke
and giving up on the irony of having promulgated a broken hashtag for our square-peg careers.