I’ve finally taken the plunge and decided to join the online community in blog-form. There are several reasons:
1. Social networking sites (in my case, Facebook) encourage us to post our thoughts in small bite-sized chunks. This is unhelpful for many of the topics I often comment on, as they are complex topics for which it is important that corners are not cut. Setting out one’s views in a more lengthy way should, at least in theory, result in less fudging together of issues that are really best explored in depth.
2. I enjoy dialogue with people of other opinions or ideas. This is, for me, intellectually stimulating. I hope that a blog will enable this in ways that Facebook etc cannot.
3. My interests are wide but related. A blog enables one (in theory) to explore the relationship between some of these interests more fully.
4. Our world is inspiring. This often causes people to respond in faith, song, words, smiles, forgiveness, good deeds and so forth. More than anything, the nature of inspiration drives us to share what has inspired us with others. If this blog achieves this only in some small way, it fulfils its purpose.
Topics I intend to blog about will relate to language (and Linguistics, my field), literature, Germany and German culture, history, music, God, devotion and education.
For now, all that remains is an explanation of the name of the blog. ‘Quirky Case’ verbs assign a non-nominative case to their subjects, which, typologically speaking, is a bit odd, hence the name. Icelandic is a language which employs this so-called Quirky Case. Here’s an example of an accusative as a subject, from Andrews (1982):
Drengina vantar mat.
boys.def.acc lacks food.acc
‘The boys lack food.’
The name appealed because I enjoy the silliness of a lot of Linguistics terminology: it’s a discipline that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Not only this, but it seemed appropriate, as many of my interests are, if I’m honest, somewhat ‘quirky’.
Let the quirkyness commence with (literally) a few words from St Paul. In his letter to the Philippians, I am often drawn to the notion of ‘shining like stars’. In this broken and depraved world, we are to ‘shine like stars in the universe’ as we ‘hold out the word of life’ (Philippians, 2:15-6 – see also the Vulgate translation below, which is particularly beautiful). St Paul sees the image of a star, unceasingly shining out light simply because that is what it was created to do, as a worthy analogy of how we, as Christians, must shine out the word of life, because that was what we were created to do. If that image isn’t inspiring, nothing is.
… inter quos lucetis sicut luminaria in mundo verbum vitae continentes …