languagehat's profile (website)


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Name: Stephen Dodson
Joined: August 6, 2002
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MeFi: 100 posts , 13724 comments
MetaTalk: 7 posts , 8049 comments
Ask MeFi: 53 questions , 5221 answers
Music: 0 posts , 22 comments, 0 playlists
Music Talk: 0 posts, 0 comments
Projects: 0 posts, 0 comments, 8 votes
Jobs: 0 posts
IRL: 0 posts, 5 comments
FanFare: 0 posts, 121 comments
FanFare Talk: 0 posts, 0 comments

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Favorites: 38833
Favorited by others: 42162


Links to: 474 users
Linked by: 555 users
MeFi tags: history (21) russia (8) Africa (7) art (7) music (7) language (6) photography (6) war (6) culture (5) iraq (5)
Ask MeFi tags: house (4) spam (3) travel (3) feminist (2) laptop (2) mortgage (2) novels (2) Pittsfield (2) realestate (2) baseball (1)


What's the deal with your nickname? How did you get it? If your nickname is self-explanatory, then tell everyone when you first started using the internet, and what was the first thing that made you say "wow, this isn't just a place for freaks after all?" Was it a website? Was it an email from a long-lost friend? Go on, spill it.

(The photo is by drumcorpse, taken at the April 2008 Northampton meetup.)

I like languages, and I wear hats.

Some good resources:
free online scholarly books!
Country Studies
the entire Gutenberg Bible
The Making of America (19th-century documents, scanned and searchable): Cornell collection, U. Mich. collection
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle: 1841-1902
The Encyclopedia of Chicago
The Ancient World Web
Oddens' Maps
historical maps
city maps
A Visit to Old Los Angeles
medieval names (scroll down past heraldry)
Encyclopedia of the Orient
Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization
histories of Things That Never Were
1911 Britannica (best encyclopedia ever)
Great Books (fully searchable concordances)
complete Talmud online
Tree of Life
Listening to Nature
sf and fantasy online
HTML character chart
Verge (for your avant-garde music needs -- prices in Can$)
Riffola's MeFi stuff
Mike's Little Greene Schoolhouse (the accumulating rants of a friend of mine who used to play piano for Sonny Boy Williamson's band)

Some favorite threads:
y2karl's Blind Willie Johnson post
OmieWise's great translated-literature post
Old-time music online
Norwegian cities
Early Cities of the Americas
Greek temple architecture and religion
Jazz ain't dead yet!
Art & Life in Africa
RobbieFal's political threads
The Russian Avant-Garde Book
the Nobel for literature
Civil War reenactment (and Dirty Billy's hats)
the infamous MeFi cliches thread
Flann O'Brien
Kiarostami/Iranian film
classical tune search
the Amazon camera thread
the Kottke thread
jonson's classic performance-art MeTa thread (shortest comment: "poop"; longest goes on for pages)
What is poetry?
Poets reading
Poetry International
y2karl's magnificent Yeats thread
Hittite and Indo-European
Heavens to Murgatroyd
the "He said nu-kyu-lar!!" pronunciation thread
crazed sentence-rewrite thread
quotation sites

mathowie on internet anonymity

A quote I can never find when I want it, so I'm putting it here so I'll know where it is:

"My friends in 1830 would have done almost anything to get me out of a serious danger, but if I had gone out in a new set of clothes, they would have given twenty francs for someone to throw a glass of dirty water over me. Apart from Barral and Bigillion, I've only ever had, throughout my life, that sort of friend."

"The squirming facts exceed the squamous mind"
—Wallace Stevens, "Connoisseur of Chaos"

"There are chords in the hearts of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion. Even with the utterly lost, to whom life and death are equally jests, there are matters of which no jest can be made."
—Edgar Allan Poe, "The Masque of the Red Death"

You like me, you really like me!
Seriously, that was a real pick-me-up; many thanks to y2karl and everyone who said nice things. I'll try to justify them.

Aug. 21, 2011: For anyone who may be wondering why I'm not around much these days (and not visible at all in MeFi or MeTa), this thread is a perfect distillation of what I've grown to dislike so intensely I don't want to be around it any more: an interesting interview with a great novelist is posted, and the comments consist of nothing but a bunch of ignorant yammering about how stupid the author is and because she says something they don't like about kanji dictionaries (!) her book can't be any good.

Now, I know all about the recency illusion and I've rolled my eyes many times about people saying MeFi isn't what it used to be, so feel free to roll your eyes at me, but I really don't think this kind of thing was as common (in fact, inescapable) a few years ago as it is now. I'm sure the proportions of well-intentioned, thoughtful commenters versus surly asshats interested only in putting things down hasn't changed, but the sheer numbers make it inevitable that the latter have reached critical mass and now dominate any thread that isn't directly focused on topics dear to MeFi's collective geeky heart. That wonderful y2karl Yeats thread that is still my favorite? Couldn't happen today; right out of the gate asshats would be saying "Yeats sucks," "I can write better poetry than that," "Is this something I would have to be a boomer to care about?" ... you get the picture. I don't expect anyone else to care about my frustration and disappointment, but if you were interested, now you know. I will continue to try to provide useful information in AskMe, but otherwise, I think my work here is done.

Feb. 4, 2012: I've been back for a while, thanks to gingerbeer (see here), and it's generally been a pleasant experience; I think my extended absence helped me restrain myself from commenting when a comment from me wasn't really needed. Thanks to all who said nice things about me, and especially to those whose efforts to make MeFi a better place have made me feel good about participating again.

My vocabulary stats (Sad to see that nobody talks about migs any more...):

From : benito.strauss
Date : Jul 25, 2012 8:06 PM
Subject : Your words
Message : Report for user 14752

Words you use heavily that (practically) no one else does:
migs, jonson, hama7, amberglow, rushmc, y2karl's, scarabic, bugbread, pushkin, quonsar's, da-da, merriam-webster's, userpage, troutfishing, ikkyu2, stuffthanks, zaelic, miguel's, vidiot, plep

More common words you use much more than anyone else:
matteo, lh, miguel, eb, quonsar, dios, konolia, y2karl, bolsheviks, stav, merriam-webster, webster's, languagehat, languagehat's, davy, astoria, stavros, matt's, indo-european, georgian