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Visualizzazione dei post da aprile, 2010


Young Unwitting Costly Kids – a dubious acronym for adult children who rely on financial support from their parents. Writing for The Telegraph, Bryony Gordon confessed: My name is Bryony and I am a Yuckie. It’s not quite the word I wanted to use to describe myself, but there it is, the latest acronym trotted out to denote what I am: a Young Unwitting Costly Kid, sapping my baby-boomer parents of all their hard-earned savings, and probably their will to live. New research released this week has found that an incredible 93 per cent of parents contribute to the finances of their Yuckies. Previously I have been a Kipper – Kids In Parents’ Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings – while other members of my generation – I think that we are Generation Y, or perhaps I; one can never quite be sure – have been described as boomerang kids, returning to live at home when they really should know better. According to a survey by a UK charity, two thirds of parents have reduced their own living costs to


Kids In Debt, Diligently Eroding Retirement Savings. According to Australia’s Sunshine Coast Daily, solicitor Paul Brennan is responsible for this improbable initialism : Mr. Brennan said an increasing number of his cases involved parents wanting to ease their child’s financial strain. He has even coined a phrase to describe the trend: KIDDERS, which stands for “ kids in debt, diligently eroding retirement savings .” Mr Brennan tells his clients they need to exercise some “tough love.” He said parents getting involved could compound the problem by giving creditors a new target with perceived deep pockets. Incidentally, in 2005, the BBC reported on the trend of KIPPERS.:… the drain on finances created by grown-up children is a financial burden that exacerbates the difficulties posed by longer life expectancies. The modern-day dilemma has spawned the term kippers, standing for “kids in parents’ pockets, eroding retirement saving.” published on: Schott's Vocab


The increasingly blurred distinction between online play and labor. Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr are pulverizing the final distinctions between work and play. As Rob Horning noted on his blog Marginal Utility last month, “social networks are harvesting and reselling the details of our cultural cry of self, conveniently translated already by our volunteer labor into terms of brands and trademarks already on the market. "This process even has a cute neologism – playbor, which was the focus of “The Internet as Playground and Factory,” a recent academic conference in New York. “Social participation is the oil of the digital economy,” explained organizer Trebor Scholz on the conference website. “It has become increasingly difficult to distinguish between play, consumption and production, life and work, labor and non-labor.”Writing recently in Wikinomics, Naumi Haque contributed some examples:The simple idea driving the playbor discussion: What happens when we collapse the often confli


The acronym, which stands for ”wives and girlfriends”, has become popular during the 2006 FIFA World Cup. It has been used by the British press as a way of referring to the partners of the England national football team, but currently indicates the partners of the football players in general. The stereotype of the WAGs is that of beautiful women, always wearing expensive sunglasses and bags and whose main activity is shopping. With a similar meaning we may find the acronym HABs referred to ”husbands and boyfriends” of well-paid sportswomen, in particular tennis players. L’acronimo, che significa ‘mogli e fidanzate’, si è diffuso durante la Coppa del Mondo di calcio del 2006 ed è stato usato dalla stampa britannica per indicare le mogli e le fidanzate dei calciatori della nazionale inglese. Attualmente, viene comunemente usato per indicare le mogli e le fidanzate di tutti i calciatori. Lo stereotipo della WAG è quello di una donna bellissima che indossa sempre occhiali da

Which words make you merry?

So we know you hate 'moist' and 'stakeholder' and 'nice', but which words do you love? Words with soft sounds such as "l", "m" and "n", and long vowels or diphthongs, reinforced by a gentle polysyllabic rhythm, are interpreted as "nicer'" than words with hard sounds such as "g" and "k", short vowels and an abrupt rhythm. There are always two reasons why people love or hate a word. One is the meaning, the other is the sound, and it's difficult to disentangle the two. Concentrating on the sound can best be done when meaning is taken out of the equation, by comparing synonyms. Some inveighed against clichés ("solutions'"), Americanisms ("math"), Latinate words ("defenestrate"), colloquialisms ("like", when used for, like, quoting), political correctness ("chairperson"), nouns as verbs ("critique"), irregular spellings ("inveigle&

Twenglish Police: The self appointed Twitter Scolds

published on: NYTimes JOHN CUSACK tweets with his iPhone and, much like the characters he plays, his style is fast and loose. “I’m pretty new to it, and if there’s a spell check on an iPhone, I can’t find it,” he said by telephone. “So I basically get in the general ballpark and tweet it.” Consequently, Mr. Cusack has birthed strange words like “ breakfasy ” and “ hippocrite ” and has given a more literary title to his new movie: “Hot Tub Tome Machine.” Most of his followers ignore the gaffes. But a vocal minority abuse him about it nonstop, telling the star that as much as they liked “The Sure Thing,” his grammar and spelling sure stink. “If you’re going to be political, maybe learn how to spell Pakistan, and all words in general,” wrote one supposed fan. “The vitriol was so intense that at first I didn’t think they were serious,” Mr. Cusack said. “Because, like, who would care?” They do. A small but vocal subculture has emerged on Twitter of grammar and taste vigilantes who spend the

Distracted driving buzzwords

published on: Consumer Report The issue of distracted driving has become a hot-button safety topic in the past year and has generated a great deal of discussion about solutions to this growing problem. The group behind the simulator has come up with a few terms related to the distracted-driving phenomena. We’re not sure whether these will make it into Webster’s Dictionary, but here are a few of our favorites. Textgating: Like tailgating, this refers to driving dangerously close to another car because your attention is focused on texting or other distractions. Textident : A collision caused by someone who's too busy with their phone to drive safely. Smerge : The combination of swerving and merging due to driving distracted. Crash-test dummy : Someone who will likely get into an accident due to using a phone, texting or some other distraction behind the wheel.

Una rete sempre più fitta di neologismi e acronimi

tratto da: Il Sole 24 Ore Spesso rispecchiano in modo semplice ed efficace una loro peculiarità come nel caso di « Information silos » o « Sistem-on-a-chip »; altre volte nascono dalla fusione di più termini o concetti ( E-book, Cyberwar e Micro web tv ), ma non ci si deve sorprendere più di tanto se Avatar affonda le sue radici nella religione induista e «Tragedy of the Commons» risale alla tradizione giuridica anglosassone. E forse non tutti si rendono conto che quell'irrinunciabile voglia di consultare la posta elettronica, partecipare ai social network, navigare sul web sempre e in ogni occasione può nascondere un disturbo nervoso dal nome quasi impronunciabile: Discomgoogolation , ovvero sindrome da astinenza da internet, che si contrappone ad « always on », la possibilità di essere sempre connessi al web. Invece sono tutti ancora da scoprire l'accoglienza e l'impatto che avrà il futuribile attuatore a impulsi neurali, (Neural impulse actuator), la nuova frontiera del

Neologismi sì o no?

da: Il Sole 24 Ore Su Facebook, riserva dove proliferano i difensori di qualsiasi cosa, dai pini montani agli aeroporti milanesi, poteva mancare il gruppo di difensori della lingua italiana? No. Infatti, ecco il gruppo "Aboliamo i neologismi e gli stranierismi", dove si leggono appelli per sostituire la parola "cocktail" con un futuristico "polibibita" oppure per usare una semplice e pulita "notizia" al posto di "news". Ma i neologismi, quelli sì che è difficile abolirli, anche perché la creazione della lingua è anarchica, le parole si autogenerano e diffondono in modo virale, incensurabile e incontrollabile, fino a consacrarsi termini ufficiali quando entrano nelle pagine dei vocabolari. Il Devoto Oli versione 2010 ne contiene 500 in più rispetto all'edizione 2009, più o meno lo stesso numero del Garzanti, mentre lo Zingarelli ne propone addirittura 1200. L'ufficio – assieme alle aule scolastiche - è uno dei laboratori predilet

What do top English words tell?

Ten years ago, no one had heard of “ H1N1 ″, “ Web 2.0 ″, “ n00b ”, or talked about “ de-friending ” someone on “ Twitter ” or “ Facebook ”. Now these are part of people’s everyday vocabulary.The world is changing. Inevitably, so are our words.The English language is going through an explosion of word creation. New words are coined – some, like “n00b”, may not even look like words; old words take on new meanings – “twitter” today bears little relation to the Middle English twiteren. According to the Global Language Monitor (GLM), in 2009 the English language tipped the scales with a vocabulary of one million words. Not good news for the 250 million people acquiring English in China. GLM, the San Diego-based language watcher, publishes annual lists of top words and phrases by tracking words in the global print and electronic media, the Internet, blogs, and social media such as Twitter and YouTube. Each year’s list reflects major concerns and changes taking place that year. For in

Most Confusing High Tech Buzzwords of 2000-2009

published on: Global Language Monitor In conjunction with the SXSW Interactive conference held in its hometown, The Global Language Monitor has released the most confusing high tech buzzwords of the decade (2000-2009). Topping the list are HTTP, Flash, God Particle, Cloud Computing, and Plasma (as in plasma TV). Rounding out the Top Ten were IPOD/IPAD, Megapixel, Nano, Resonate and Virtualization.The most confusing Acronym for the decade was SOA (Service Oriented Architecture).“SXSW has long been a harbinger for future directions in popular culture and now the gathering has taken on the added dimension of technological innovation,” said Paul JJ Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor, “The words we use in high technology continue to become even more obtuse even as they move out of the realm of jargon and into the language at large.”The Global Language Monitor uses a proprietary algorithm, the Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI) to track the frequency of words and phrases in

I, Translator

Published on: NYTimes EVERYBODY has his own tale of terrible translation to tell — an incomprehensible restaurant menu in Croatia, a comically illiterate warning sign on a French beach. “ Human-engineered ” translation is just as inadequate in more important domains. In our courts and hospitals, in the military and security services, underpaid and overworked translators make muddles out of millions of vital interactions. Machine translation can certainly help in these cases. Its legendary bloopers are often no worse than the errors made by hard-pressed humans. Machine translation has proved helpful in more urgent situations as well. When Haiti was devastated by an earthquake in January, aid teams poured in to the shattered island, speaking dozens of languages — but not Haitian Creole. How could a trapped survivor with a cellphone get usable information to rescuers? If he had to wait for a Chinese or Turkish or an English interpreter to turn up he might be dead before being understood.

Globish: the worldwide dialect of the third millenium

published on: Guardian More than a lingua franca, the rapid adoption of 'decaffeinated English' , according to the man who coined the term ' Globish ', makes it the world's most widely spoken language. The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee has just published a report Global Security: UK-US Relations whose headline conclusion (The "Special Relationship" is Dead) interests me. This, it seems to me, is potentially another milestone in the evolution of the phenomenon I've occasionally referred to on this blog as "Globish". Full disclosure: for the past four years, I've been working on a book, Globish: How the English Language Became the World's Language, which argues that a seismic shift in the foundations of our lingua franca has transformed it from an expression of Anglo-American cultural sovereignty into a supra-national phenomenon, with its own powerful inner dynamic. Penguin Books will shortly publish this in the UK, and I&

F.B.I Is Slow to Translate Intelligence

Published on: NYTimes The F.B.I.’s collection of wiretapped phone calls and intercepted e-mail has been soaring in recent years, but the bureau is failing to review “significant amounts” of such material partly for lack of translators, according to a Justice Department report released Monday. “Not reviewing such material increases the risk that the F.B.I. will not detect information in its possession that may be important to its counterterrorism and counterintelligence efforts,” said the report, which was issued by the office of the department’s inspector general, Glenn A. Fine.In a statement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said that it was working to reduce its backlog of unreviewed audio recordings and electronic documents, and that it continued seeking to hire or contract with more linguists.“The F.B.I. remains committed to reviewing all foreign language material in a timely manner and setting priorities to ensure that the most important material receives the most immediate att

"Il lavoro a Bruxelles non va avanti senza interpreti"

tratto da: Repubblica Pochi lo sanno, ma più si allarga e più si integra, meno l’Europa studia le lingue per comunicare. Le istituzioni son alle prese con una penuria di interpreti che rischia di diventare drammatica. Marco Benedetti, direttore generale del servizio di interpretazione della Commissione, è talmente preoccupato che ha fatto preparare video su You Tube e su Facebook per spiegare i vantaggi della professione. “Le scuole e le università europee non producono abbastanza interpreti per far fronte al fabbisogno attuale. Tantomeno a quello futuro, spiega. Quali sono le prospettive? “Oggi la Commissione impiega 585 interpreti assunti come funzionari e 250-300 freelance. Ma già per la cabina inglese facciamo fatica a fornire i servizio di interpretazione a tutte le riunioni. In prospettiva, nei prossimi dieci anni, 200-300 interpreti di madrelingua inglese nel complesso delle istituzioni europee. Del resto, le iscrizioni ai corsi universitari di francese e tedesco, In Gran Bretag

"Restare aggrappati alla nostra lingua ci fa perdere milioni"

tratto da Repubblica L’Italia perde ogni anno molto più di quel mezzo milione che costa la cabina dell’interprete: ci rimette in risorse che potrebbero arrivare se i nostri rappresentanti parlassero l’inglese e il francese. È l’opinione del linguista Tullio De Mauro. Professore, c’è chi sostiene che l’uso dell’italiano negli organismi europei vada difeso. “Per me sarebbe semplice: gli italiani, e in particolare le nostre delegazioni politiche all’estero, dovrebbero studiare le lingue. Cosa che, per motivi misteriosi, nel nostro Paese riteniamo inutile fare, anche se ci rimettiamo economicamente”. I costi degli interpreti in effetti sono alti. “Ma non sono nulla di fronte a tutto ciò che non riusciamo a farci dare come contributi europei per l’Italia. Saper trattare in più lingue in riunioni e commissioni di varia natura, porterebbe soldi, che invece vengono regolarmente dirottati verso Grecia e Spagna. Spagnoli e greci sanno le lingue e le sanno usare: trattano e ottengono”. Il lessico

Facebook speak: Teenagers create secret online language

Teenagers on social networking sittes are creating a secret language to stop adults knowing what they are up to, researchers say. published on: Telegraph The teens are using it to stop parents and employers judging them by their social activities such as partying and drinking.Instead of writing they are drunk, teens post 'Getting MWI' - or Mad With It. Being in a relationship is known as 'taken' or ' Ownageeee ', and ' Ridneck ', a corruption of redneck, means to feel embarassed. Meanwhile, girls posting ' Legal ' are indicating that they are above 16 and legally allowed to have sex. Lisa Whittaker, a postgraduate student at the University of Stirling, who studied teens aged 16-18 on Bebo in Scotland, said the slang had been created to keep their activities private, and cited the example of one young girl who was sacked after bosses found pictures of her drinking on the website. "Young people often distort the languages they use by

A God-given way to communicate

Fears about the demise of Arabic are misplaced published on: Economist THE Arabic language is dying. Its disloyal children are ditching their mother tongue for English and French. It is stagnating in classrooms, mosques and the dusty corridors of government. Even such leaders as the Lebanese prime minister, Saad Hariri, and Jordan’s foreign-educated King Abdullah struggle with its complicated grammar. Worse still, no one cares. Arabic no longer has any cachet. Among supposedly sophisticated Arabs, being bad at Arabic has become fashionable. That, at least, is an opinion prominently aired in the National, an English-language newspaper in Abu Dhabi. It reflects a perennial worry in the Arab world about the state of the language. Classical Arabic, the language of the Koran, and its modern version, Modern Standard Arabic, known in academia as MSA, are a world apart from the dialects that people use every day. Spoken and written in the media and on stuffy occasions, this kind of Arabic is

Tech Words

Dwelling:  Dwelling is what happens when you move your mouse or touch on a portion of a screen, hold for a while, and a pop-up appears. For example, on, when you dwell your mouse over a thumbnail of a movie, a pop-up shows you the movie’s description.” Ideation: “An ideation is an idea that germinates over time, like a new business start-up idea or some concept that a group discusses in a meeting and creates together.” Mi-Fi “A new version of ‘Wi-Fi’ (or a wireless network), Mi-Fi is a variation that means ‘my wireless’ and is a small credit-card shaped device that connects to a cell phone network. Multiple people can use that same device to connect to the Internet over the cell phone signal. Both Verizon and Sprint offer the products. The big advantage: one person can sign up for data service, but several can use it.” Bokode “A bokode, originally developed at MIT, is a new type of barcode that contains more detailed information. Based on the Japanese term