The past month has been bonkers busy, or, to use the slicker corporate jargon that now disfigures my professional writing and speech after two months of working for a leading tech company, my bandwidth has been maxed out all too frequently. So, if you were wondering why posts have been rather thin on the ground hereabouts of late, there’s your somewhat opaque reason. Keep checking back in over the next couple of weeks and I should have posted at least one or two of the clutch of pieces I have waiting in the wings (mainly the wings of my mind, so expect them to take a while to complete).
Fortunately for this post and your decision to persevere with it this far, I have an exciting little announcement to make. Despite the impression given above, I have managed not only to start but more importantly to finish writing something recently, only for a different blog to Surrey Medieval. Cad! Bounder! I hear you cry. Well, not quite.
Back in the early spring, I went to the postgraduate workshop event that was run as a preamble to the annual conference of the Society for Name Studies in Britain & Ireland (fondly know by its excellent acronym SNSBI) held at Gregynog in the heart of mid-Wales. No idea why I didn’t blog about it at the time, as it was an excellent event (I seem to remember it overlapping with the most ferocious and long-lasting of all my recent bouts of mouth ulcers, which perhaps explains more or less everything). At the workshop I met Alice Crook, a PhD student at Glasgow who, it turns out, also runs the website Onomastics.co.uk. Cut to the other side of the summer and, not long after finally catching up with how things are done in the year 2014 by sharing my post-dissertation reflections post on Facebook, Alice dropped me an email asking if I might like to contribute something for the site’s Feature of the Month, er, feature. Somehow, in between a new job, transatlantic travel and generally being a slowcoach, I managed to take her up on the offer by writing…
…‘The thing about -ing(tūn)‘, a 1500-word excuse to look in more detail at something I did touch upon in my MA dissertation, but for all of a paragraph or two. There’s still a heap more that could be said on the matter, and that’s just on the historiography! In fact, one of the pieces I have earmarked for posting in the coming weeks is a thorough analysis of the textual sources which contain genuine early attestations of singular -ing name formations, with particular reference to the changes in practice evident in the peerless corpus of boundary descriptions from Kent. Read through to near the end of my Onomastics post as *spoiler alert* it introduces some of the basic historical framework in which I think the toponymic evidence can be interpreted.
Now I have my marked dissertation copy back, I will be making corrections (and one or two additions) before getting it printed and bound properly. The Surrey Archaeology Society has offered to host a copy on its website, which should give it exposure to people who might not usually go looking for such things. Of course, I’ll upload it on this or Academia – or both – for added exposure. Speaking of Academia, make yourself a brew and settle down to read the Master’s dissertation of Michael Cheong, a.k.a. The Eastern Anglo-Saxonist, still occasionally of this parish of WordPress. It’s a great piece of research, and looks nice too (I’m guessing UCL doesn’t have the same strictures as Nottingham around using an unattractive font and so forth).
Anyway, many thanks to Alice for letting me loose on her website. I feel like I should return the favour one day and let others stage mini-takeovers of Surrey Medieval. Maybe I’ll let things calm down a little around here first.