Revisiting some old favourites

For whatever reason, I have a fairly large number of newly arrived readers here at Glossographia.    The blog has in fact been around for nearly five years; I started it when I was newly arrived on the tenure track at Wayne State and now I’m just about to go up for tenure in the coming academic year.  How the time flies.  Anyway, for those of you who may be new around here, I’ve put together a list of my top ten favourite posts from the past half-decade (in no particular order):

– In A feisty embuggerance, I highlighted one of the most ridiculous automatic citation difficulties imaginable, direct from Google Scholar (and still uncorrected!) (2009/10/21)

– In A typology of quotation marks, I showed that “what” we do with “quotation marks” is both complicated and “linguistic”. (2009/09/26)

– In Is the Phaistos Disk a phony?, I evaluate a controversial hypothesis while showing how experts in writing systems go about evaluating new hypotheses. (2008/09/14)

– In To grad or not to grad, I enter the growing discussion about how students should decide whether to go to grad school in the humanities and social sciences. (2009/03/27)

Anthropology’s thumb: is linguistic anthropology vestigial or opposable? was written as a lecture to senior WSU undergraduates as part of their capstone course in four-field anthropology. (2010/01/25)

– In Hyperdiffusionist Civil War history, I dissect the transatlantic long-range diffusion arguments of one archaeologist, and (apparently) annoy the essayist Errol Morris who wrote the article I criticize. (2009/04/05)

‘Chairperson’ and English lexiculture started as a student exercise in my undergraduate linguistic anthropology class and turned into an excursion into the history of gendered terms of authority. (2010/06/28)

– In Reference letters: a letter-writer’s views, I discuss my process for writing (and reading) reference letters for students applying to postgraduate programs. (2009/02/09)

– In Pseudo-writing at the zoo, I turn a family outing into an opportunity to think comparatively about texts that have the appearance of writing without any linguistic content. (2011/03/18)

Juvenile ethnopaleography is a satirical analysis of one of my son Arthur’s earliest and more interesting written productions, with insights from the history of number systems. (2010/02/06)


Author: schrisomalis

Anthropologist, Wayne State University. Professional numbers guy. Rare Words: Blog:

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