Apologies for the long delay in posting – I have been juggling too many balls and this one has dropped. But have no fear – perhaps it … bounced? … and is now … coming back into my hand? This metaphor needs to be taken out back and shot.
In the interest of actually giving you some real content, here are some brief musings on things I’ve posted recently to my Twitter feed:
Old (from 2012) evidence of a new (to us) medieval Viking settlement in Canada – this one on Baffin Island, probably Helluland of the Icelandic sagas. This is becoming increasingly a settled matter – there’s too much European content in artifact assemblages from the eastern Arctic and sub-Arctic for anything else to be so. Still no Vikings in Minnesota, though, except the football ones.
Nick Enfield, Mark Dingemanse, and Francisco Torreira at the Max Plank Institute for Psycholinguistics won a prestigious (to some) Ig Nobel Prize for their work showing that ‘huh’ is a universal word cross-linguistically. In the spirit of ‘make you laugh and then make you think’, but this is one of the finest cross-linguistic comparisons I’ve read in a long time, with lots of methodological controls.
And in sad, but predictable, and actually, not all that sad news after all, Rome is abandoning the Roman numerals! Or rather, addresses and street names that use Roman numerals will be replaced with Western numerals over the next few years. Reminds me of the first time I used the Montreal metro and was momentarily baffled by the announcement for “pine oeuf” station, which is of course Station Pie IX (Pius IX).