27 luglio 2010


A day trip or other short vacation that does not require an overnight stay.

published on: Word Spy

If you don’t have the time or the money for vacation this summer, maybe you can spare a few hours for a daycation. Somewhere between the staycations of 2008 and the naycations of last year there’s the daycation trend of 2010.Sure, it’s another silly neologism. But the slowly improving economy means many travelers will take their first real first vacation in more than a year this summer — minus the long flight or drive and the hotel overnight. More Americans will opt for short day trips, instead.After two consecutive years of decline, the number of domestic leisure trips is expected to edge up just over one percent in 2010, according to a study by Euromonitor, a market research company. “People are expected to get back on the road, although they will remain extremely cost-conscious,” says Michelle Grant, the company’s travel and tourism research manager.Kathryn Watson counts herself among them. A business analyst with a health systems company who lives in Jefferson, La., she’s daycationing in nearby New Orleans this year instead of taking an overnight trip. “I plan to picnic in beautiful Audubon Park with my dog and a great book, treat myself to lunches, dinners, and drinks at some of my favorite places throughout the city, stroll the French Quarter, and shop Magazine Streets vintage and antique shops,” she says. No need for a hotel, since she lives only ten minutes from the Crescent City.The travel industry isseeing more people like Watson. At the discount travel site Hotwire, they refer to her kind of vacation as a “straycation,” or “travel that’s within a close proximity to the customer's origin,” according to its president, Clem Bason. “A lot of our customers took vacations within their nearest metropolitan area.” In 2009, the number was up between 1 percent and 9 percent, depending on the market. The trick, of course, is persuading them that they’d be better off in a hotel than at home. And that’s not easy.

22 luglio 2010

Sunsetting and Readcasting

Writing for The Economist’s Johnson blog, G.L. offered definitions for the tech terms sunset, readcast and vook, and proposed the introduction of a new word, vreadcasting:

Sunset, verb. To be in the process of becoming obsolete; a “sunsetting device”. (Cf. the already well established and uncommonly ugly legacy, adjective: already obsolete; a “legacy computer“)

Readcast, verb. To read something while similarly transmitting on several social media the fact that you are reading it and what you think of it.

G.L. observed: “Curiously nobody has yet coined vreadcasting, which I shall define as viewing a vook while sharing it on social media. And when the iPad becomes obsolete we shall have sunset vreadcasting.”

published on: Schott's Vocab

Read also:

iPad terminology


The acronymic name for a service established in Germany to help people escape radical Muslim groups.

published on: Schott's Vocab

Reporting on the decision of Germany’s intelligence agency to found HATIF, The Local/DPA revealed:
Participants and their family or friends can now find help via email or telephone with the new “HATIF” service, which stands for Heraus Aus Terrorismus und Islamistischem Fanatismus, or “Leaving terrorism and Islamist fanaticism.” …
“The main goal of HATIF is to prevent violence in the name of Islam,“ the intelligence agency the Verfassungsschutz said.
The service, offered in both Turkish and Arabic, will not try to lead people from the religion of Islam, but instead provide safe options for those hoping to extract themselves from extremist circles, the agency said.
Hatif is the Arabic word for telephone.

14 luglio 2010


Published on Economist's Johnson

We tend to think of words ending in "-ism" as referring to ideologies or schools of thought.

A Wikipedia search for "-ism" directs you to a glossary of philosophy. But of course, lots of other kinds of things end in -ism: voyeurism, isomorphism, witticism, atavism, onanism and more besides.
The Economist's "Book of isms", by John Andrews, contains concise definitions of these and more—over 400 in total, from the familiar (Communism, racism, sadism) to the obscure (Lollardism, Zeism, geophagism).

Linner and Dunch

Portmanteau terms for late-afternoon dining

published on: Schott's Vocab

A new dining phenomenon is legitimate when it gets a portmanteau name. “Linner” or “dunch” is served between 3-5 p.m., often a time for restaurants to close and prepare for dinner rush. “Linner” ( or “dunch”) is becoming such a trend in New York City that the New York Post went out to find some notable places selling it.


Acronym for a group of growing economies: Africa, Brazil, India, China and Indonesia.

published on: Schott's Vocab

Reporting for Time on this year’s Global Forum in South Africa, Michael Elliott commented on the fragile economic recovery taking place in the developed economies of the Atlantic region, and spotlighted the “tremendous” performance of “what we will soon have to stop calling the developing world”:China grew by 8.7% in 2009, according to official figures. India showed excellent growth too, and even in Africa — so long dismissed by seers as an underperformer – growth hit 2% before the recession took hold, which followed years when the continent was growing at the historically robust rate of 6% or more.This isn’t simply a function of the famous BRICs – Brazil, Russia, India and China – setting the pace. Indeed, as veteran global economist Kenneth Courtis of Themes Investment Management pointed out, Russia has fallen out of the club of most-favored developing economies, having been unable (so far) to use its endowment of natural resources to build truly world-class companies. With Indonesia increasingly catching the attention of business leaders, and Africa too, it might be time to try a new acronym: ABICI, for Africa, Brazil, India, China and Indonesia. Whatever you call them, the performance of the leading economies of the developing world has been sufficiently robust that political leaders like Rob Davies, South Africa’s Minister for Trade and Industry, were able to trumpet the potential of south-south trade – while acknowledging that even the best-performing southern economies had been hurt by the continuing weakness in the rich world.


Acronym for Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic.

published on: Schott's Vocab

Research from the University of British Columbia suggested that some psychological studies could be skewed because of their narrow samples:
According to the study, the majority of psychological research is conducted on subjects from Western nations, primarily university students. Between 2003 and 2007, 96 per cent of psychological samples came from countries with only 12 per cent of the world’s populations. The U.S. alone provided nearly 70 per cent of these subjects.
However, the study finds significant psychological and behavioral differences between what the researchers call Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic (WEIRD) societies and their non-WEIRD counterparts across a spectrum of key areas, including visual perception, fairness, spatial and moral reasoning, memory and conformity.
The findings, published in Nature tomorrow and Behavioral Sciences this week, raise questions about the practice of drawing universal claims about human psychology and behavior based on research samples from WEIRD societies.

9 luglio 2010

Decoding Content Management

Have we been punished by a confusion of tongues?
Sure, there are tangible differences between, say, a page-based or a component-based system. And some labels are rooted in their underlying technology. Still, there's a couple of archetypes we could at least attempt to label similarly. But while the lingua franca of content technologies is English, vendors aren't exactly using the same dictionaries. I was recently advising one of our customers throughout several vendor demos. It was a great reminder of why we spend so much time explaining what each system does exactly. And a substantial part of that is translation from sets of arbitrary lingo to more generically intelligible terms.Witness one of the vendor's attempts to explain: "No, in our system, paragraphs are not paragraphs, they're page elements." So why not call them that? (And, of course, one of the developers at the other side of the table remarked "but paragraphs are page elements" -- "yes, but these pages aren't pages." The ensuing confusion took a while to clear up.)Without knowing a system's quirks, you're never quite sure. Is a masterpage a page, or is it a template? Is a content template meant for design or for modeling? Is the design really the layout or the structure? Or is it, maybe, a class? And how about the smallest uniquely identifiable content item in a system. It could be a node, or a post, or an instance, or an item, or a page. Of course, as mentioned, sometimes a page is not a page. And a site doesn't necessarily represent a site.A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But in content management, you're likely to be cut by a thorn before you'd recognize the stem. Hopefully, eventually, everyone will be able to settle on some kind of content management Esperanto. We've suggested some common terminology in our WCM evaluation research and try to apply a kind of thesaurus to each product we assess. However you accomplish it, find out whether a vendor's spade really is a spade -- before you start shoveling.

published on: http://www.cmswatch.com/Blog/1942-Decoding-Content-Management-jargon


published on: worldwidewords

AfPak is the usual shorthand way in military and political circles, especially within Washington and NATO, to refer to Afghanistan and Pakistan jointly. The term began to appear widely in newspapers in early February 2009, following a speech given by the US diplomat Richard Holbrooke, then recently appointed as US special envoy to the region, to a security conference in Munich on 8 February. He said:First of all, we often call the problem AfPak, as in Afghanistan Pakistan. This is not just an effort to save eight syllables. It is an attempt to indicate and imprint in our DNA the fact that there is one theater of war, straddling an ill-defined border, the Durand Line, and that on the western side of that border, NATO and other forces are able to operate. On the eastern side, it’s the sovereign territory of Pakistan. But it is on the eastern side of this ill-defined border that the international terrorist movement is located. Hampton Roads International Security Quarterly, 22 Mar. 2009. The words “we often call” demonstrate that the term was not new. It had appeared previously in print. The Dhaka Courier wrote on 19 December 2008: “Recently, this phenomenon in the western part of South Asia has been interestingly termed as an ‘AfPak’ problem by an American General.” The earliest appearance I can trace is this:“There is a theater of war, that I would call AfPak, with two fronts — an eastern front and a western front,” said Richard Holbrooke, the former United States ambassador to the United Nations and a supporter of Mrs. Clinton’s. “I believe that we will look back ten years from now and say that AfPak was even more important to our national security than Iraq.”New York Times, 24 Feb. 2008.The term is now quite widely used. McChrystal’s contempt for the inept Richard Holbrooke — the “Afpak” envoy who hourly awaits his own dismissal — at least bears the merit of truth. Belfast Telegraph, 28 Jun. 2010.Senior administration officials stopped referring to America’s efforts in Afghanistan and instead spoke constantly of “AfPak,” to emphasize the notion that success in Afghanistan depended on actions taken in Pakistan.Newsweek, 22 Mar. 2010.

Spy terminology

A guide to some of the spy tradecraft allegedly uncovered by US investigators

published on: Guardian

Illegals:The name used by Russia's overseas intelligence agency, the SVR, for its secret agents living in the US.

Legend:The false identities provided to the illegals before they leave Russia, and then built up inside the US.

Deep cover: When the agents are entrenched within their host society for years or decades.

Steganography: From the Greek, meaning "concealed writing", the placing of hidden messages. The modern version involves the encryption of messages concealed within the binary code of digital images on publicly accessible internet sites.

Ad hoc network: Covert communication between a pair of laptop computers temporarily linked to exchange files.

Brush-past meetings: Also known as "flash meetings", where two people secretly pass items as one walks past the other in a public place.

Radiograms: Bursts of coded radio data to the agents' handlers in Moscow.

Drop site: A designated spot at which a small item is left by one agent for another to collect.

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