In an ongoing effort to jolly myself along, I have decided to embark on a series of short essays (between two and two and a half thousand words), as mentioned in my last post. I am therefore looking for interesting topics to write about.
Firstly, I've decided to write about religion. These essays I intend on being fairly non-academic in tone, written for a general (yet educated!) readership. So far, the topics I've started thinking about are:
- A discussion on the theology of sacrifice.
- An extended investigation into ritual purity in IE traditions. This might get split over several parts.
- A more reflective piece on the interrelationship between Reconstruction and UPG.
- An introduction to Dumézilian tripartition as an analytic framework.
In addition, there's the series of posts on the Gods and Comparative Mythology from Brython to be rewritten and referenced as a single document. I also intend on gathering the research for a corresponding piece on the goddesses. I would welcome suggestions for other topics, of course.
The other great love of my life is linguistics (excluding men and food, of course: neither is an easy topic to write an essay about). So I'd like to write a few essays on historical and comparative linguistics. As these will probably be far more academic in nature, I'll primarily be writing for my own amusement. On the other hand, in a growing kind of public service ethos, I could also write a series of more accessible essays written with conlangers in mind: I'm thinking about a basic introduction to Vulgar Latin/Common Romance here, formed of a series of essays examining the more interesting aspects of morphosyntax and phonology. I must also confess that a few months ago I caved to the temptation of writing a grammar handbook of reconstructed Gallo-Brittonic (in spite have declaring quite adamantly that I wouldn't), which has progressed remarkably well: the section on accidence is essentially complete, and it's just the sections on poetics and syntax which need writing.
The first, however, will be writing up the Gods piece, as that represents an obligation. I've got several days off next week, so hopefully I should have finished it by this time next week. Before I start though, I find myself hesitating for the most absurd of reasons: which referencing style to use? I'm most familiar with MLA- in fact, I don't think I've every used anything else. But I'm aware that non-academics can get rather upset by parenthetical citations all over the text (Lipsky 1975: pp. 212-5), so I'm thinking the footnotes might be the way to go.
1) However, as regular readers of this blog's predecessor will recall, I have a habit (no doubt derived from reading too much Pratchett as a teenager) of consecrating my footnotes to asides and marginalia. I did consider making a distinction between footnotes and endnotes for this very reason, but then I realised that no matter how much html apes the conventions of the printed page, footnotes and endnotes are pretty much always conflated in an html document.