I went to numerous conferences this year. It was a nice perk of being a fellow at the Collaborative for Southern Appalachian Studies. Sharing my work on participatory cultural memory, I was on panels with literary theorists, social workers, psychologists, planners, musicologists and geographers.
Traveling outside my academic "home" of public history was a learning experience for me. I love my sub-discipline and have long been a booster for public history as a rich community of practitioners and scholars. When one of my students attended her first National Council on Public History annual meeting a few weeks ago in Indianapolis and declared of attendees, "I can honestly say these were the most supportive people I have ever met in my life," my reaction was, "Yes - of course. That is whowe are."
Journalists have been quick to make knee-jerk observations about use by patients who are too young to be directly affected by the Troubles. "The disparity is so huge that it warrants closer examination," said Steven McCaffrey of The Detail.
The insinuation in both The Irish Timesand the BBC is that the Health Service in Northern Ireland is over-prescribing.
Last night, while I was prepping for the seminar I teach on historiography, I realized that one of the reasons we teach historiography is to give students a basic vocabulary with which to critique historical research and writing.
There are instances in which the correct word matters, not the OK word or the more or less descriptive word.
(This, of course, is coming from the woman who, as a four year old, asked her mom if she could postpone her nap because she wasn't tired at the moment. I used the perfectly appropriate word and got out of my nap. Life lesson learned. Check.)
In no particular order, then, here are a few of the most commonly used words historians sling at each other and what they mean. Followed by what they really mean: