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More Magical Mayhem, etc.

March 27, 2010

As promised, Friday should have seen some new material on the Magical Lexicon go live (assuming I had the opportunity to update the pages).  I thought I’d share a little about the process for creating and updating the Magical Lexicon.  First, I thought I’d point out that the “Magical Lexicon” tab that you see in the tabs across the top only points to a sort of “portal” page for the lexicon.  It describes the project, in general, and tells how to read the various entries on the lexicon.  Because the Lexicon is already huge and will only grow even more huge as time goes on, I had to divide the entries up alphabetically.  You’ll find links to each of the alphabetic pages in the lexicon in the sidebar to the right (and links to each page on the Magical Lexicon tab above).

So, the process: the lexicon exists primarily as an Excel file.  The reasons for this are manifold: even though Excel is not the ideal format for text (most of which the lexicon is), it does have the advantage of being more easily and readily sortable across several columns.  So, I can alphabetize it by each word, or sort it by each of the various classifications.  Excel also allows me to do some nifty things that automatically sort different alphabetic bits onto different tabs.  So, for instance, there is one main tab that has all the terms on it, and then a tab for terms starting in A through C only – sorted automagically! – and so on.

So, to get this into WordPress for posting, I have to copy from the relevant alphabetized tabs first into a Word document.  I found this to be necessary because copying directly into WordPress caused some funky things to happen.  Then I copy into WordPress, and I have to verify that everything lines up properly and it doesn’t break WordPress’s column and line-wrapping.  Then, because each of these pages already exists, I’ll have to do this all on the day-of, on which I want to post it (unlike normal posts, in which I set a future publication date, I don’t want to take down these pages that have already been published by resetting their publication date to the future again).

The process of finding definitions and new terms consists mostly of Googling, looking up words in online dictionaries, on Wikipedia, and in any other relevant resources.  Sometimes (like this time) I’ll find the information I uncover gives me a host of new words to add and define.  I’m not interested so much in being completely comprehensive – this is a lexicon, not an encyclopaedia – but I do want to be thorough enough that a visitor to this site could learn enough about the mythology and folklore of the magical that they could come away informed and equipped to do more thorough and deep research.

So, this week we have brand-new terms added, new definitions for words already in the list, and updated definitions for words that were already defined.  These include:

Aeromancy, Alomancy, Allomancy, Auspex, Auspices, Austromancy, Bibliomancy, Cartomancy, Casting Lots, Ceraunoscopy, Cheiromancy, Cleromancy, Devil, Dowsing, Extispicy, Faustian, Geomancy, Haruspices, Haruspicy, I Ching, Lithomancy, -Mancy, -Mancer, Nephomancy, Numerology, Oneiromancy, Palmistry, Pyromancy, Rhabdomancy, Scry, Scrying, Sortilege, Taromancy, and Tasseomancy (along with definitions for all those in the A through C range).

Updated definitions include Augury and Cantrip.

New definitions include Dark, Demon, Demoniac, Devil, Devilry, Diabolic, Diabolism, Diabolist, Divination, Divine, and Divine Magic (obviously I’m working on the D’s; all the new -mancy words, for instance, came about when I started working on the definition for Divination).

So, as before, take a look, as it interests you, offer suggestions to update or improve existing definitions, or new terms you’d like to see added.

Happy Writing.

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