Thursday, July 05, 2012


12:00:01 July 1, 2012

Dear English Department,

I am no longer your b*tch. 



[UPDATE: To clarify: this just means I have completed my term as Chair of the English department, which sounds like it is a position of power, but is actually being at the beck and call of everyone from students to faculty to administrators to the geese in the pond.   I haven't left Wheaton, haven't quit academia, am not living in a yurt.  Sheesh.]


Stephen Smoogen said...

or someone's account has been hacked?

Now who gave the English Professor some clothing?

anarchist said...


Apologies for the off-topic comment, but I couldn't find a contact email for you.

A while ago I put out an ebook of my writing, called The New Death and others. It's a collection of short pieces. I'm influenced by fairy tales, Tolkien and Lord Dunsany among many others.

I was wondering if you'd be interested in doing a review on your blog.

If so, please email me: Let me know what file format is easiest for you, and I'll send you a free copy.

You can download a sample from the ebook's page on Smashwords:

I'm also happy to do interviews, guest posts, or giveaways. Just let me know what you'd prefer.


Andy said...

This post seems so straight-forward and yet, really, not so much.

Explanation, please.

Amelia said...

Congratulations on your freedom Dobbie Drout?

John Cowan said...

Another off-topic comment:

I was chasing links and found myself at your 2004 paper on Tolkien's prose style, where you talk about recreant as anachronistic, since it hadn't appeared in any OED quotation since 1897. Well, it turns out that the OED3 updated that word in 2009, and it now has quotations from Henry James (1907), H. Croly (1909), James Joyce (1922), John Buchan (1927), the Times (1928), T. H. White (1938), D. O. McKay (1947), Poul Anderson (1960), E. S. Connell (1991), the Baton Rouge Advocate (1996), the San Antonio Express-News (1998), the Melbourne Age (2007).

Now plenty of these are conscious archaisms, but I'd say the 1947 McKay quotation is not: "A married woman who refuses to have children, or who having them neglects them for pleasure or social prestige, is recreant to the highest calling and privilege of womanhood." So the word may be rare, but by no means entirely archaic or obsolete.

Here's a handy compendium of what parts of the OED were published when. It shows that the OED1 fascicle containing recreant was published in 1906, just a hair too early to capture the Henry James quotation. It's unlikely that it was updated in OED2, since that was basically limited to new words and new senses. Consequently, the mistake was entirely unavoidable.

Bloggingbooks said...

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Anonymous said...

An even more off-topic and belated comment, but, the Anglo-Saxon audio clip on the Colbert Report from Wednesday the 25th WAS you, wasn't it? :D

Made this history geek squee like a little girl ...