On marking language-switching in speech and writing

So what I have to say is too long to fit in a tweet or even a handful of tweets. I followed the link in this tweet – https://twitter.com/kissane/status/627264725697581057 …which lead to this video by Daniel José Older, titled “Why We Don’t Italicize Spanish”, where he explains why language-switches in his books are not italicized […]

quantity +/- quality

For a long time, I’ve felt that the pressure to produce MORE publications – more Things To Count, since the system as it is now uses quantitative methods to establish quality of academics – is doing everyone a disservice, with lots of half-formed publications seeing the light of day.* In this publish or(/and) perish world, […]

No signal, just noise

One of the (oh too many) things I work on is code-switching* in historical texts. Or, more broadly, how multilingual environments are reflected in Early Modern English (merchants’) letter-writing. In particular I’ve done some work on the letters of early English East India Company merchants – some of it published – and then of course a […]

On the numbering and foliation of the Cecil Papers

While discussing the provenance of the manuscripts in my PhD edition, delving into the histories of various collections and repositories, I ran somewhat off on a tangent when writing about the Cecil Papers. Turns out that the foliation in the Cecil Papers is problematic, and references to documents in the Cecil Papers can be obscure. […]

Sir Charles Cornwallis in his valley of misery

The first English Ambassador in Spain post-Elizabeth, Sir Charles Cornwallis, got bit of a rough deal. English trade with Spain had just been opened up again (in 1604), but relations were still somewhat strained, and many English merchants found themselves in trouble in Spain – some of it their own causing, but much of it not. These […]

What’s Early Modern English for “Tom, Dick & Harry”?

The other manner of my prosecution of my cuntrym{ens} causes they so farr myslyke, as one Don francisco (a Judg delegate for the assisting of the Councell of warr, in Causes ther depending in law) hauing lately receaued very sharpe letters from his majestie here, reprouing his slow proceeding in those of ye King my […]

more on the vexing matter of assigning dates to documents

TNA SP 94/12 ff.144-147 is a 4-page document entitled: “Note of my letters of aduertisments from spayne, Italy & other parts from Jan 1605 vntill [missing]” In other words, it is a list of letters received during 1605. It was compiled by Thomas Wilson, secretary to Sir Robert Cecil, in charge of intelligencing relating to […]

Demonstration sign palaeography

I’ve been focussing on palaeography quite heavily recently, so naturally that was what attracted me in this image: “Egyptian protesters gather for a demonstration at Tahrir Square in Cairo on the sixth day of angry revolt [AFP]” (Taken from Al Jazeera, © AFP I guess..) Anyway, so questions that interest me are things like “what […]