Reusing Old Graves

Prompted by a concern that British cemeteries were running out of space, Professor Douglas Davies was commissioned to research public attitudes about reusing graves. The result was his book Reusing Old Graves, which became the 1995 winner of the Diagram Prize for oddest title of the year.

More info from a review in the Ecclesiastical Law Journal:

The primary inquiry of the research was put in a leading way. Respondents were not asked 'Do you think graves should or should not be reused?'. Instead they were asked what period of time should elapse before a grave could be used for new burials by a different family. Despite the form of the question 35 per cent of respondents said they never should be reused. As against this 62 per cent were willing to countenance the reuse of graves after varying periods (3 per cent were undecided). The periods given ranged from one year to two hundred, the most popular being 100, 50, 20, 30, 75, 150, and 10 in that order.

     Posted By: Alex - Mon Jun 15, 2020
     Category: Death | Books

Go to the Diagram Prize wiki link & see how many titles in the list of past winners you can read without cracking up. I only managed to read one before falling off, which was from 1978: Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice, from the University of Tokyo Press.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 06/15/20 at 12:29 PM
I must have run across the Diagram Prize before because I recognize several of the titles, and even my roaming isn't wild enough to have uncovered more than one or two of them.

"The Joy of Chickens" reminds me of the recent meme which shows the title page of "Ducks and How To Make Them Pay" and expresses disappointment that it's about raising fowl for fun and profit and not how to get revenge for all they've put us through over the years.

I recognize the name Glenn C. Ellenbogen (author of the 1986 winner "Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality") from "The Journal of Polymorphous Perversity" in the mid-80s(?). That might have even been in the journal -- sadly, I never got to see all the issues.
Posted by Phideaux on 06/15/20 at 02:01 PM
In many cultures, tombs have been reused over and over. A body was placed inside, and after awhile the bones were placed in a ossuary or simply shoved to the back to make way for the next body. This may well have been the type of tomb Jesus was placed in after his crucifixion.
Posted by Brian on 06/16/20 at 09:02 AM
This compilation includes many titles other than the annual winners:
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 06/18/20 at 09:57 AM
There seems to be a repeat: What bird did that by Burton Silver is listed for 1990 and 2005. But looking at Amazon I see there were two different books. The older one is subtitled The Comprehensive Field Guide to the Ornithological Dejecta of Great Britain and Europe. The newer one is A Driver's Guide to Some Common Birds of North America. The both feature cover artwork of two people sitting in a car, with the passenger pointing at bird poop on the windshield. In the British version, the driver is on the right, while in the American edition, the person on the left is driving.

Here's a definition of dejecta: dejecta pl (plural only) (medicine, zoology) any liquid or solid waste matter that is emanated, shed or discharged from the body. Dejecta include urine, faeces, sputum, pus, mucus, skin sloughing, lochia; their discharge can be nasal, aural, by expectoration, urethral, vaginal and so on.
Posted by ges on 06/18/20 at 03:14 PM
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