minstrel: RE: Translation Note

Baker, Mike mbaker at rapp.com
Tue Jan 7 09:21:00 PST 1997

Oh, you didn't have to change it jes' 'cause o' little ol' *me*...

The profs probably didn't catch it because they haven't deigned to learn 
spelling (in English) and place their trust in their editors & grad students 
to catch the real whoppers in their own output.

And no, I haven't missed *all* of them. This particular example I just 
wasn't sure of myself, actually. Didn't want to attribute to "playful 
malice" a potentially honest "mistake", in particular as I am only beginning 
to study the translated item. (Heck, I'll admit it: I am a complete newcomer 
when ON / Icelandic and related materials are concerned, and for all I knew 
it may have been a dig aimed at uppity wives you were preserving from the 

Sorry if that jab at the professor crowd sounds harsh. Fits with my 
experience of many academics who seem to be jealous of the thought that 
"amateur" does not necessarily equate to "untalented" or "unlearned". So 
what if my degree does not say "Literature" or "_____ Language"? I have a 
brain, a memory, and some skill at placing one word next to another even 
without the benefit of fancy modern tools. (Much / most of my poetry & other 
writing begins life as either longhand penmanship or an oral performance.)

I also have a broad base of knowledge that might not fit into their 
traditional academic structure's preciously separated and segregated 
"learning disciplines". I also have the bad habit of forming opinions in 
areas I may not be considered to have proper backgrounds in: I've read a 
book or article or three, not spent at least a year in immersion (I *wish*! 
 - "personal paradise: ten year paid sabbatical with _unlimited_ access to 
the Vatican libraries AND the language background to be able to read all the 
good stuff like Aramaic & Linear B & Coptic Egyptian &c. ...").

Of course, if the *academic* longhairs get too uppity, I'll just break wind 
in their general direction and keep having my brand of fun!

(Even that last does not mean that I have a complete lack of respect for the 
collective work of professorial-level academics, however. SOMEONE with 
training and interest has to keep the faith, preserve, proselytize, 
rediscover, teach the next generations, etc. Too often, though, it is the 
under-paid & under-recognized support structure of adjunct instructors, grad 
students, and advanced-skills undergrads that shoulder the load. I've known 
a few exceptions. Far too few...)

Rant is over, life continues, let's all have fun.

Amr ibn Majid al-Bakri al-Amra
     currently residing in Barony of the Steppes, Kingdom of Ansteorra
Mike C. Baker                      mbaker at rapp.com
Any opinions expressed are obviously my own unless explicitly stated 

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