Housekeeping

Yesterday I went through and edited all of my posts so there were ‘Continue reading’ links on all of them. I hope this makes scrolling through article easier and makes older articles accessible. It also helps me see which articles people actually read (because ‘homepage’ doesn’t really tell me much!). I also added an ‘Articles’ page where I’ve placed the links to all of the articles I’ve suggested in various posts, and I added a blogroll on the right. If you have a Classics, Linguistics, Academia, or Education themed blog that you’d like me to check out and maybe post there, send me a link in the comments. (I may have missed a few!)

Also, I’d like to apologize if I accidentally spammed your inbox. I found out a few hours later, to my horror, that every time I added a ‘Continue reading’ tag to a post, publicize spread the word for me. A bit over enthusiastic on its part, but I should have thought about the possibility beforehand. So, if you were inundated by Piece of the Internet notifications yesterday, I do heartily apologize.

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” – Inigo Montoya

Finishing my thesis and viva means that I now spend obscene amounts of time reading silly things on the Internet. It also means that I spend many of my nights out having fun and then I write my blog while hungover the following morning. In short, I apologize for another post about a linguistic point from a humor site.

This is an article from Cracked.com from 2007: 9 Words That Don’t Mean What You Think.

It lists 9 words that are extreme or very visible examples of relatively recent semantic shift (except for #1, irregardless1, which my spell check doesn’t even correct…). Of course, semantic shift is a known phenomenon, and once the change is Continue reading

Fighting the Inner Presciptivist with XKCD

I’ve been reading xkcd comics for about 6 years, religiously. I have, in fact, read every single one of them because, like a dork, when I first started reading them, I did the ‘catching up on a new webcomic’ thing and went through the archives. Though Randall claims his is a webcomic of ‘romance, sarcasm, math, and language’, it’s probably safe to say that ‘language’ isn’t often a topic. However, in all those years, he has never posted a single thing about language that immediately made me think, ‘THIS IS WRONG!’. However, today’s comic did:

Continue reading

Holy Crap, it’s DONE

If I were a good grad student, this would be a post about how parting with a thesis is emotional, how finally handing it in all wrapped up in its pretty bindings is terrifying and sad and exhilarating. I would probably use a metaphor involving a child.

A thesis is meant to be a pet project – something you have a love-hate relationship with, you’ve dedicated months (years if we’re talking phd) of research to, and which has consumed you entirely. My thesis was a thing I had to write to graduate (just a long essay). Its purpose was to tick a box on the degree checklist, and I knew it needed to involve something historical-linguisticsy. I metaphorically plucked a topic out of a bag of topics at random and then Continue reading

Grad Schools. Go to them.

I read this article from PhD Octopus just now and was reminded of a post I made a while ago lamenting my decision to pursue an MPhil. I was instantly worried that someone, somewhere, might have interpreted it as ‘grad school sucks’ (I’m fairly certain it didn’t come off that way, but the internet is a magical place…) Lest anyone think that my current frustration with academia should be translated as ‘don’t go to grad school’, I would like to clarify that I made a decision that wasn’t right for me and that I think my frustrations with academia are not that it exists and people want to do it (that would be silly), but that academics often don’t try to show their worth to their fellow citizens. Academia and Grad School certainly generate research and students who are worth quite a lot to their fellow citizens; I think it’s the lack of outreach that has caused the ‘anti-intellectualism’ that is creeping in to our (dare I say it?) politics and mentality. And hey, if you’re the lucky person who manages to get paid to study Greek Vowels for the rest of your life and you love every second of it, then I think you’ve probably done well.

This is a good article, and I definitely encourage those who feel the calling to absolutely go to Grad School. (I hope at least 5 people twitched at the use of a split infinitive there. Call it masochism, but I find it helpful to intentionally (here I go again) defy prescriptive rules that I sill find myself trying to correct.)

Hiatus Resolution: ‘Your search returned no results’

So, my posts have been distinctly sparse as of late. There are two reasons for this; the primary one is the arrival of my boyfriend in Cambridge, but running a very close second is my thesis.

As is the way with theses, they do tend to take up a lot of one’s time, especially when left to the last minute *coughmighthavedonethatcough*. What I found particularly challenging about my topic though was the odd lack of literature. What I’m researching is hiatus resolution. Classicists may have encountered this term when dealing with Homer and epic correption, ‘vocalis ante vocalem corripitur‘ (a vowel is shortened before [another] vowel). This Latin phrase refers to the tendency in epic poetry for a word final long vowel or diphthong to shorten before a word initial vowel:

τὴν δ’ ἐγὼ οὐ λύσω: πρίν μιν καὶ γῆρας ἔπεισιν
(the final omega in ἐγὼ scans short, even though omega typically scans long, because it is followed by a vowel – in this case omicron)

This is one method Greek (and in a sense Latin – more later) employs to deal with hiatus. Hiatus can be Continue reading

Open Access to Academic Journals? – Some thoughts from Mary Beard

Yeah, I know, I’m doing the cheeky ‘middle of writing thesis’ thing and just giving you links to thought provoking articles. Specifically, yet another Mary Beard article. Mary Beard is specifically discussing an article from The Guardian (here), and my impression is that she’d support subscriptions at a more reasonable level (like the $50 per annum that I used to pay for a subscription to Time).

Her post can be read here.

I would love to know what everyone thinks about this. I admit that I have only done as much reading on the topic as I’ve include in the links, but I would welcome more information!