Sunday, March 10, 2013

Project: Proverb Laboratory

We can date the beginning of the Proverb Laboratory to Sunday, March 10, 2013... and I have to thank some friends at Google+ for initiating a discussion that led me to start this new project or meta-project I guess we could call it. (Here is the Google+ discussion that got the proverbial ball rolling.) In so many different ways, proverbs have been at the heart of a lot of my work for the past fifteen years or so, and now seems like a perfect time to figure out how to unite those disparate projects as well as to move in some exciting new directions.

Here's an overview of some of key elements I have in mind as I get started:
  • Proverb Essays. I contemplate writing up some brief proverb essays so that there will be a new essay every day. There are some different types of proverb essays I would like to pursue - proverbs about teaching and learning (since these are near and dear to my heart), proverbs from foreign languages (my main languages are Greek, Latin, Polish and Italian), essays about famous Bible sayings, along with some essays about my proverb posters and Latin LOLCats.
  • Latin LOLCats. I completed one series of Latin LOLCats using the most common Latin vocabulary, without English translations. I chose this strategy to make those Latin LOLCats useful to Latin students and teachers, giving them a sense of confidence in reading Latin without a translation. Now I would like to start a new Latin LOLCat series in poster format with Latin proverbs and English translations.
  • Proverb Bibliography. I hope to compile a proverb bibliography, emphasizing freely available online resources in the form of books available at digital libraries online (especially Google Books), along with useful websites. I'd also like to provide an overview of some of the scholarship on proverbs, especially now that JSTOR is making more articles accessible to the general public. That now makes it worthwhile for me to look for JSTOR articles to summarize and promote here at the blog.
  • Test Yourself Proverbs. My long-term goal is to turn help to promote proverbial competency, especially English proverbial competency for non-native speakers. When I learn some computer programming this summer, I will create some online data-gathering tools to help people test their own proverbial competency while also generating extremely useful data for me in creating useful learning resources.
  • Motto Generator. I would also like to explore a more creative type of programming project, building a Motto Generator to help people to create English and Latin mottoes for themselves.
    Well, that's sure enough... probably more than enough, ha ha. Let's hope that these can be good stems for some proverb fruit to come. :-)

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