Harpers on the wonders of the telegraph and typewriter… and the rightful place of philologists.

From the conclusion of a great article in Harper’s on the Telegraph :

The immense extension of the general telegraphic system, and its common use for business and social correspondence and the dissemination of public intelligence, are far more important to the community than any of these incidental applications of the system. The telegraph system is extending much more rapidly than the railroad system, and is probably exerting even a greater influence upon the mental development of the people than the railroad is exerting in respect to the material and physical prosperity of the country. It has penetrated almost every mind with a new sense of the vastnessof distance and the value of time. It is commonly said that it has annihilated time and space—and this is true in a sense; but in a deeper sense it has magnified both, for it has been the means of expanding vastly the inadequate conceptions which we form of space and distance, and of giving a significance to the idea Read the rest of this entry »

Revisiting Old Irish: A new blog series

It’s been twenty odd years since I last studied Old Irish. So when a former student of mine, James Bell, came and asked if I’d work with him on Old Irish, Old Norse, Gothic, or something else old, I thought it sounded like a fun idea.

For our textbook, we’re using An Old Irish Primer by Wim Tigges in collaboration with Feargal Ó Béarra. But unlike 20 years ago, there are also lots of resources around on the Internet.

I’m going to use this blog series as a kind of notebook/reportage about what we are up to. Since this is a case of the blind leading the blind, corrections and suggestions are very much appreciated.

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