28 February 2007

Brought to you by the letter thorn

With the rise of text messaging and new uses for old words, it’s time to reinstate a letter that fell out of (noticeable) use a while back: the Old and Middle English thorn. This is something that a few emoticon users have already picked up on when they want their text-faces to stick out their tongues. The usual practice is to use a capital P or a lowercase b, resulting in :-P or :-b, for example. Using a thorn allows your emoticon to stick its tongue out the middle of its mouth.

Since most decent web browsers readily render unicode characters, this should be an easy addition to one’s online repertoire: just type :-Þ to get :-Þ.

The return of thorn will have an additional benefit: merchants who insist on calling their stores something like “Ye Olde Shoppe” can get it right by turning the Y into a Þ.

Pedantic update (Mar. 26): Here’s a visual representation of the evolution of “þe” to “ye”:

thorny evolution

21 February 2007

Fake Steve speaks the truth about the DRM controversy—and has (predictably) ironic responses to this post.

Andrew Womack describes some of the most useful techniques one can employ in the construction of a long(er) term paper (than it might otherwise be). Huzzah!

19 February 2007

It changes text into homophones four ewe.

12 February 2007

I’ll go on record right now: Barack Obama should be the next President of the United States. He’s the real deal.

1 February 2007


I’ve been doing most of my work off-line as of late, but hope to have some dissertation- and exam-appropriate things to share with you over the next few weeks. Here’s what’s up:

  • Zora is babbling more and more each day. Soon I’ll remember to record (and post!) some of these babblings to share with you. She also can hold herself in an upright, seated position; roll over; and grab things, then move an item from one hand to the other. And everything goes in her mouth.
  • I’m working on a paper about typography and Old English. I’m especially interested in how type can function rhetorically. If you have any suggestions for reading along that track, please let me know!
  • I’m studying—still!—for exams. The stack of reading I’ve done is taller than I am, something Mike Drout will appreciate.
  • This site will eventually get simpler in its structure, but also warmer (I hope). I’m sick of “categories”—soon everything will either be an entry in my “commonplace book” or relate to any classes I teach. I’d probably ditch a blogging engine entirely and go to static HTML (or even XML!), except that WordPress allows for comments (which I like, when they’re not spam) and automatically organizes things for me.
  • I had a whole thing about why rhetoric gets a bad rap, but I’m sick of politics, too. War is hideous, especially when there’s no real point to it. Where is justice in this world?
  • I also went to the Worship Symposium at Calvin College. It’s a neat event and gave me some good things to think about—especially concerning relationships and the drama/performance involved in effective worship.

That’s what’s on my mind and what I’ve been up to. Feel free to continue through the series of tubes.

This is the archive for commonplace book entries that I published in February 2007.