Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mythcon this weekend!

It’s been pretty quiet around here for the last couple of weeks, and I’m sorry about that. I’ve got no shortage of things to blog about, but I’ve had too little time lately to do it. Instead, I’ve been working on my paper for Mythcon, a 40-minute linguistic odyssey which could leave my audience cheering for more, glassy-eyed with apathy, or sapped of all will to live. Or a mixture of all three. (Yes, I realize that while a “40-minute lingustic odyssey” sounds appealing to me, quite a few people might prefer an “odyssey” to the dentist’s office. Or maybe a good, sharp poke in the eye. I have to hope those brave souls I see in front on me Friday afternoon have at least read the abstract and chosen to give me a try. We’ll see soon enough. :)

To go along with the paper, I’ve assembled an animated slideshow which I hope will help people to better visualize the relationships between the words I’ll be discussing. It’s the most ambitious PowerPoint presentation I’ve put together, and so I’ve naturally spent a lot of time on it — hence, again, less time for Lingwë in recent days. I’ve also been trying to practice the timing involved in delivering the paper and triggering the various animations that go along with it — not as easy as it might sound. Kind of like juggling feathers.

And finally, I’m moderating a panel on Language and Myth (Sunday evening right before the big banquet), so I’ve had to do some preparation of material, questions, and quotations with which to lead and stimulate the discussion among the panelists and audience. This will be my first panel, so wish me luck.

Once I return from Connecticut, the middle of next week, you can expect new posts to follow. One of these will, of course, be a detailed conference report. Stay tuned.


  1. Good luck. As you near the 40-minute mark, may your audience not be heard to mutter, "I hope the presentation will not go on indefinitely, or I shall become a wraith"!

  2. “Do not speak of such things!” ;)

  3. And thanks for the well-wishes, I should add. My practice sessions have been running just under 40 minutes, so maybe we’ll avoid anybody’s head exploding. ;)

  4. Good luck! Wish I could be there to see the presentation! I'm looking forward to hearing all about it when you get home.

    Travel safe.

  5. Thanks, Cat. I’ll travel as safely as I can, but unfortunately, it’s not really up to me. I just hope the pilot isn’t drunk again this time. ;)

  6. Jason's paper was interesting, well attended, and well received. The graphics looked pretty good, too, although I was in the back of the room, so I couldn't see all of them easily. And I'm not a linguist.

    And he ran the panel extremely well, valiantly resisting the efforts of the audience (including myself) to draw the panel off on tangents.

    So he should be very pleased with his work over the weekend.

  7. Jason,

    Loved how you moderated the panel. Fascinating work. I look forward to reading your detailed report on Mythcon.

  8. Julian and Valeria, thanks to both of you for the comments. I’m glad you enjoyed the panel and my paper. I would have liked to dig in a little deeper on the panel, but it was only an hour (whereas, some of the other panels were longer by half). Valeria, I’m sorry I couldn’t get into Old Norse any more than I did. It’s a pet topic of mine, too, but I felt I owed it to the panel and overal subject not to cater only to myself. :)

    One thing I had really wanted to bring up, but couldn’t (because of time), was the reverence Tolkien evinced for the Adjective, calling it “a part of speech in a mythical grammar.” But we can’t ever say everything, can we?


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