Suddenly it’s the 4th of January and I have but one wee blog entry to offer. That poor start to the year is not for lack of effort. I have two entries slowing germinating in draft form but they are not yet ripe. One topic has consumed more time than expected and that is the subject of this little offering.
Really, I have absolutely no excuse for missing this.
COMMITTEE FOR PALAEOGRAPHY/BODLEIAN CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF THE BOOK
Medieval manuscripts masterclass
In copying late Middle English, as in copying other languages, scribes in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century England drew on techniques long established in practice but seldom written down. Those techniques of the scribes, their collaborators and their readers can be reconstructed from the manuscripts themselves.
These techniques might sometimes have been ‘tacit’, as good as unthinking; but what is intriguing is the question whether correcting ever reflects conscious ‘second thoughts’ about the text corrected and about the process of copying it into a book. Sometimes scribes fix practical problems in scribal labour; sometimes they stop to emend or even collate texts in ways which suggest their reading of, or attitudes to, the language and works they copy. Correcting is thereby a crucial part both of the history of book production and of an interesting period in the history…
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Writing for a conference audience is hard. You would think, for all the conference papers I have written over the years (the count is 6, if you include the forthcoming one), that this would get easier but It isn’t, yet.
The problem, or so it seems to me at the moment, is that you aren’t writing for a reader, you are writing for a listener and that means your structure and organization can’t follow the patterns you typically use in other writing.