Tuesday, November 07, 2006

To Talk of Many Things

Somehow I've gotten a bit behind (okay, more than a bit) so I'm going to have to do an omnibus post here and link to a whole bunch of things I've been meaning to write about.

- James Gleick had an article in this weekend's New York Times Magazine, "Cyber-Neologoliferation", in which he discusses the ongoing release of O.E.D.3, the third edition of the great Oxford English Dictionary. Quite an interesting discussion of the editing process, including the never-ending addition of "new words" and the discovery of earlier usages for known words. Gleick even asks a few of the editors if they have favorite words: "Fiona McPherson gives me mondegreen. A mondegreen is a misheard lyric, as in, 'Lead on, O kinky turtle' [presumably this stems from "O king eternal"?]. It is named after Lady Mondegreen. There was no Lady Mondegreen. The lines of a ballad 'They hae slain the Earl of Murray, / And laid him on the green' are misheard as 'They have slain the Earl of Murray and Lady Mondegreen.'" Hmm. Learn something new every day!

- According to the Carlisle Sentinel (PA), an upcoming auction will feature some memorabilia from the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion, including a letter written by George Washington.

- American Heritage reports that St. Francisville, LA's Oakley plantation house has been reopened after extensive renovations. Oakley played an important role in the making of John James Audubon's great Birds of America: while tutoring the owner's young daughter there in 1820-1, Audubon drew more than thirty birds during afternoon jaunts through the local forests. In later years, he was often back in the area. Restoration of the house is expected to be fully completed by next March in time for the 36th annual Audubon Pilgrimage.

- The New Yorker's "Shouts and Murmurs" column this week is a tongue-in-cheek piece on the high cost of new hardcover novels. Quite funny (I particularly enjoyed the 'quote' from Senator Jeff Sessions).

- I read this article by law prof. Lawrence Lessig for my Archives class this week and thought I should share it; it's not brand-new, but it's a fascinating inside look at the process behind a Supreme Court argument (in this case - Eldred v. Ashcroft - over copyright issues and the public domain).

- A couple new blogs out there for your reading pleasure: Reading Copy is written by the great staff over at AbeBooks, and has some excellent stuff so far. I've added a link and will check in with this one regularly. I also recommend Reading Archives (apparently there's a theme to these today), which is written by University of Pittsburgh LIS professor Richard Cox. This blog, he says, is designed to offer "critical observations on the scholarly and popular literature analyzing the nature of archives or contributing to our understanding of archives in society."

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