Raymond Carver’s famous short story collection title has become one of the blogosphere’s most popular headline jokes.
As writers churn out more and more content for the Internet age, one Gawker writer discovered that the “‘What We Talk About When We Talk About [X]’ (WWTAWWTAX) construction” has become one of the most popular quick and dirty headlines. The title is taken from Carver’s classic collection (and short story of the same name), “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.”
Here’s more from the post: “it’s showing off. It’s pandering–signaling to a certain preferred reader : ‘This one’s for you, you brilliant appreciator of contemporary short fiction!’ and to another reader: ‘Stay away, cretin!’ The majority of these publications’ readers probably do occupy that demographic and temporal hot spot for which Carver is sort of an unofficial poet laureate. Most of the people reading this do. I definitely do. (In fact the first time I spotted a WWTAWWTAX headline I was so amused/pleased with myself for getting the reference, that I tweeted about it.)”