Un-digitize me

If you’ve followed my irregular posts here for a while you’ll know by now that I constantly struggle with my dissertation. If you’re only here for the occasional knitting related post you might want to skip this post ;-).
I’m researching lexical loss in Old High German, Old English and Old Icelandic and gathering data is nothing but accumulating long lists of words I dragged out of huge dictionaries. The already finished (thank heavens!) list for Old High German started out with over a thousand items and has been dwindled down to 700 words.
Now I’m repeating my search on Old English data and the good news is that I don’t have to rely on old-school dictionaries in the university library because nothing can beat the DOE (Dictionary of Old English Online) and the Online version of the Oxford English Dictionary in this. I can dig through both sources online as long as I’m on campus because of licence issues.
The bad news is that digital dictionaries and Excel sheets combined have started to give me a headache. All I do is stare at the screen and switch between Firefox and Excel. You can guess that this did not turn out well…

What to do? My solution is to try my hand at doing this the 80s, retro kind of way – I’m un-digitizing my data organisation (and yes, I know un-digitize is not an actual English word 🙂 )!


I still have a file but it’s made of cardboard 😉 and the accumulating data can actually be seen accumulating even though it has a slightly chaotic whiff to it.


Eventually, I will have to put all data in digital form but since I can’t just attach an Excel-file to my dissertation I can convert my paper files later, after I’ve decided on a format.

For now I’ll  enjoy my old-fashioned files… and I better get back to them now!
I’ll be back with the big FO parade – as soon as I’ve finished weaving in the ends, attaching all buttons and giving everything a good soak!


2 thoughts on “Un-digitize me

  1. barefootrooster 9. November 2011 / 2:06 pm

    that makes sense. i certainly like to have a balance of digital and not-digital stuff to do everyday — i love sitting down to write with all of my research well-organized and in the computer, but i can’t sit and look at a screen for hours and hours all day every day! this sounds like a good way to move forward. (and i’m looking forward to seeing the FOs you speak of…!)

  2. Svenja 10. November 2011 / 11:44 pm

    I can completely relate to the urge to have something ‘in the real world’ and not only virtual stuff. To me it feels like I kind of think different (and more focused) with pen and paper in my hand.
    Are you already prepared for St. Martin tomorrow? Paper lanterns hanging?
    I couldn’t find mine today… =(

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