Another day, another handwriting query. This one has been written by G. M. Story, a note to Dr. Kirwin on the entry for jackatar. The indecipherable bit is in the third full line of text. If you think you can figure it out, please comment below or send us an email. The word-file below reads:
Could you advise on anything you think
needs revision in this entry? We have
one  quote [indecipherable] DNE a little,
and a few 1980s quots to add.
But have you second thoughts on the
definition (eg. the Micmac indians mix),
Word-file for ‘jackatar’. Reproduced by permission of the English Language Research Centre, Memorial University, St. John’s, NL.
This particular word has shown up on several cards and we cannot figure it out.
The headword here is ‘swat’ (top left corner) and the editors have indicated that the citation is withdrawn by writing ‘Withdraw?’ in the top right corner followed by a check mark. This citation has been withdrawn because, as the card states, “Not much evidence”.
The final word in the last line is the word we need help with. It reads:
“Devine’s item is in [indecipherable]”
We thought that it was Hoelboell, but we are not certain. If you have a guess, submit it here on the blog! This is the clearest example that we have in the ELRC. If we can track down the other slips, we’ll post them as well.
Word-file for ‘swat’. Reproduced by permission of the English Language Research Centre, Memorial University, St. John’s, NL.
Here’s another handwriting query from the DNE files. The word we cannot decipher is right after the =. It may be an Inuit word meaning ‘ice hole’ but we can’t quite figure it out. We have figured out that it says:
ice hole = [indecipherable]
Word-file for ‘ice’. Reproduced by permission of the English Language Research Centre, Memorial University, St. John’s, NL.
Today marks the end of the first phase of the Dictionary of Newfoundland English Word-file Digitization Project. David Browne, one of this semester’s MUCEP students, digitized the very last card this morning. The last card digitized was for Tyfoy (Typhoid) fever, fitting since everyone and their dog seems to be sick these days in the long and hungry month of March.
The Digitization project was initiated in 2005 at the ELRC and we have worked very hard for the past decade to get to this point. This project has employed almost 100 students so far and we are extremely grateful for each and every one of our student research assistants who have grappled with the aging computer network, indecipherable handwriting, numerous protocol changes and much more.
We have already started the second phase of this project: verification of almost 100,000 digitized records using a newly developed protocol designed to bring all the records inline with each other. This second phase will take approximately 2 years to complete as long as our student support does not dwindle. We are also in the process of determining the most appropriate migration to a database format in order to make this unique and important collection available to scholars or interested parties.
Thanks especially to the great group of students currently working at the ELRC: David Browne, Sarah Budgell, Jordyn Hughes, Janet Kelly, Rebecca Nolan, and Cathy Wiseman.
Today is the 90th birthday of DNE editor, Regional Language Studies…Newfoundland creator and long-time editor, brilliant scholar, colleague and gentleman Dr. William J. Kirwin.
There are few researchers who have shown the dedication and drive that Dr. Kirwin has shown throughout his life and his legacy is his work which celebrates linguistic diversity and cultural heritage. Dr. Kirwin currently resides at St. Patrick’s Mercy Home in St. John’s, NL for anyone who would like to visit him to deliver birthday or other good wishes in person. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
On November 13, 2014, the DNE celebrated its 32nd anniversary. On that date, ELRC Centre Manager Suzanne Power was interviewed on CBC Radio’s Morning Show in both St. John’s and Central Newfoundland.
The DNE Word-file Digitization Project is moving along steadily and we are coming across more handwriting queries all the time. Here is one from the P withdrawn section for the term pot-hunter. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a pot-hunter is:
“A person who hunts game for food or monetary gain rather than for sport; a sportsman who shoots indiscriminately or with no regard for the rules.”
We are having difficulty picking out the first note from the OED. We have figured out:
[OED pot- [inc]ler]
What do you think this card says?
Word-file for ‘pot-hunter’. Reproduced by permission of the English Language Research Centre, Memorial University, St. John’s, NL.