Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Lies, damned lies, and general drum-beating

Every now and then I do a post about how Harmless Drudgery is doing. It started in October 2012, so that the first full year's visits had been recorded by the end of October 2013. Since then I've got (courtesy of Blogger) more than two years'  worth of stats, which make for a bit of a long graph – more of a frieze; so I've taken every fourth one to produce this quarterly picture of growth – healthy, but no more than linear.
Revised figures at end of October
It would be unrealistic, I think, to expect a similar near-doubling readership over the coming 9 quarters;  and, besides, it takes quite a bit of (writing) effort to maintain interest – which is at odds with the original purpose of the blog [which, longer-term visitors will know, was to support my other writing efforts].

Also, I'm aware (and slightly envious) of the example set by David Crystal's blog, which is very sporadic. He ends his most recent post with these words:
There's nothing like dictionary compilation to take you away from the real world. It's not like any other kind of writing, where you are in control of your content. In a dictionary, the content controls you, in the form of the alphabet. The object in question will be out in March,The Oxford Dictionary of Shakespearean Pronunciation. It's at the copy-editing stage, and next month I have to record the audio version and soon after go through the proofs. Believe me, there's nothing more blog-destroying than a set of dictionary proofs.
In 2012-13, at the time of initial work on When Vowels Get Together's various work-in-progress editions, I remember sharing this tunnel-vision. I posted to the blog fairly frequently, but often in smaller posts – often scarcely more than a screenful (although many of those earlier posts have had Updates added. And there was also the footer, which fleshed them out [at the expense of up-to-date statistics]).

For the first year, it was feasible to update footers quite regularly; but with a backlog ...
At last, an etymologically deferential usage (which is not to say, of course, that words' meanings should be – or indeed can be – preserved in aspic; here's an interesting post that describes The Etymological Fallacy) . This post discussed the word backlog.
... of getting on for 240 posts. the task of updating them has become a mixture of Sisyphean and Augean. Besides, I've worked out how to do it properly, with tabs. So stay tuned for a NEW DEAL.


PS – A clue:

Starry-eyed rallies disorganized – releasing endless cry. (8)

Update 2015.10.21.18:05 – And another:
PPS Way to show deference to French chef, say – two-wok version. (6)

Update 2015.10.31.20:55 – And another:
PPPS An office assistant toys with reprisal, but thinks again. (11)
(I also updated the graphic.)

Update 2015.11.04.22:25 – And yet another:
P⁴S Nuts – sociopaths without ring involve copper's nark in fit-up (10)

Mammon When Vowels Get Together V5.2: Collection of Kindle word-lists grouping different pronunciations of vowel-pairs. Now complete (that is, it covers all vowel pairs – but there's still stuff to be done with it; an index, perhaps...?)

And here it is: Digraphs and Diphthongs . The (partial) index has an entry for each vowel pair that can represent each monophthong phoneme. For example AE, EA and EE are by far the most common pairs of vowels used to represent the /i:/ phoneme, but there are eight other possibilities. The index uses colour to give an idea of how common a spelling is, ranging from bright red to represent the most common to pale olive green to represent the least common.

I'm thinking about doing a native iBook version in due course, but for now Mac users can use Kindle's own (free) simulator.

Also available at Amazon: When Vowels Get Together: The paperback.

And if you have no objection to such promiscuity, Like this

Freebies (Teaching resources:  
Well over 49,300 views  and nearly 9,000 downloads to date**. They're very eclectic - mostly EFL and MFL, but one of the most popular is from KS4 History, dating from my PGCE, with nearly 2,700 views and nearly 1,100 downloads to date. So it's worth having a browse.)

** This figure includes the count of views for a single resource held in an account that I accidentally created many years ago.


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