Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Week in Links (Breakfast Edition)

I'm starting out with the very best link ever: An Arabic translation of Lewis Carroll's poem Jabberwocky. I hate to criticize, because it's fantastic, but the tradition of Arabic poetics is so rich and deep that I think that with a few tweaks, this could have been made even more impressive. That said, it still is worthy of best link ever status:

Jabberwocky in Arabic

Moving on from made-up Arabic, here is a brief post on region-specific reasons not to conflate Modern Standard and Classical Arabic:

Anachronistic Arabic in Algeria

In re: regional dialects, though in English, this is a really interesting quiz that measures the respondent's accent and usage against very narrow regional bands of English.  It's long, but very accurate (or completely fabricated and just using the data from my cookies). At the end, it asks you your current place of residence and the city where you grew up before giving a list of the five cities whose accent and dialectal features most resemble your own.  My top two were given as New York, NY and Stamford, CT. It's eerie because I listed San Francisco, CA as my childhood home — in other words, New York and San Francisco were the only two geographic data points that the quiz had about me — but I was born in Stamford and lived there until I was 10 years old. Some of the questions did make me wonder about the extent to which the quiz was measuring for class as much as for region, but I'd have to read the documentation to be sure.

Full Dialect Quiz and Survey

Short Dialect Quiz and Survey

From computational linguistics to computational literature. I don't believe it's the end-all and be-all, but I do think it can yield some interesting results, especially for understudied corpora:

Computational Linguistics an Literary Scholarship

O, German existentialists! The Americans you have to worry about are not the ones who have embargoed PhD dissertations, but the ones who invent their PhD out of whole cloth and have no dissertation, embargoed or otherwise:

Why Care About the O'Bagy Affair?

Jonathan Franzen is preciously horrified that writers he previously respected might deign to use Twitter. Not directly in response, Mary Beard explains its value:

What's Wrong with the Modern World?

Why Tweet?

The fact of the matter is, nobody's writing schedule/system/approach (and that includes medium-stakes writing and thinking and decompression time!) looks like anybody else's. For example, I blog in the morning because it helps getting the juices going, while for many people I know, that would represent a waste of their most productive time of the day.  I love Peter Ackroyd's books, and there's something about his writing schedule that makes me reassured about my own:

Peter Ackroyd's London Calling

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