After my second all nighter I succeeded in turning in my Language and Culture midterm. At this point I’m am hoping for a “b” though I’m willing to settle for a “b-“. It sucked. Two essays, five pages each. And here’s a sample question:

2. Why should ritual text-in-context be hypermetasemioticized in every respect? We have considered the role of densely laminated metricalization as the prime reflexively calibrated metapragmatics that regiments the signs within ritual so that the whole as well as its parts are determinate indexical icons, even if that indexical iconicity is only a figurative sign of aspects of the “conventionally cosmic,” i.e., the universe of presupposable conventions. But, taking one of the elaborate examples of ritual from our reading list, show how in addition to straightforward metricalization, the form is saturated with meta-semiosis layered upon meta-semiosis. (Recall here the relationship of the “literal” or everyday to the “tropic” or figurative in Jakobson’s account of “poetic function” in denotational language involves a metasemiosis moving from a lower to higher plane of meaning.) For the example you choose, explain the role of any folk metapragmatics that attempts to understand the possible/likely/guaranteed “effectiveness” of ritual as performed. Is there a Rhematic understanding of some principle(s) that make effectiveness transparent to local understanding, for example?

It literally took us one week to decode these things. Then almost another week to formulate our answers. I’m not looking forward to the final. And in the meantime I’m planning to take a long nap.

However, folks, start expecting e-mails as my life is sorta my own again.