25 settembre 2012

Neologisms in the Digital Age

The Newspaper archive goes back to 1759, with 58.1 million newspaper pages. If only one in 100 of those pages had a neologism on it, it would be an entire other OED. That's 500,000 more words. Not even talking about magazines. Not talking about blogs.
Of course the explosion of social media over the last couple of decades has intensified and accelerated the creation of new words and phrases.

So where will language take us in the future? We just don’t know and it is absolutely impossible for us to guess.

Kerry Maxwell (BuzzWord author @MAcMillan) and Rita Temmerman (professor in applied linguistics (terminology) at Erasmushogeschool Brussels) will try to give us answers to the previous questions.

This will be the topic for the next conference organized by TermCoord (Terminology Coordination of the European Parliament): “Neologisms in the Digital Age”.

24 settembre 2012

Memidex: the moon on a stick?

In recent weeks I have found myself really obsessed with searching for a one stop stop for terminology search and dictionary/thesaurus lookups. 

I acknowledge that we already have a wealth of tools at our disposal and I am simply glad that we have access to all these online research resources which weren't around 20 years ago. Even if the few seconds or minutes required switching from one site to another don't bother us, I’m realizing that what we want is to search a range of resources without visiting individual websites.

So far the tool that better performs this function seems to be Memidex.

Memidex is a free online dictionary and thesaurus with a simple interface, complete inflections, auto-suggest, adult-filtering, frequent updates, a browsable index, support for mobile devices, and millions of external reference links for definitions, audio, and etymology.  
The original Memidex database was derived from the high-quality WordNet® database developed by Princeton University, and used by Google and others.
Memidex provides also several free tools for making dictionary/thesaurus lookups even more faster and simpler.
The downside of this website is that it is available only for English resources. Can’t wait to see one tool like Memidex based on multilingual resources.

14 settembre 2012

New Collins e-dictionary, the way forward

I was reading the article “Dictionaries are not democratic” and I loved it because I completely disagree with J. Green’s view causing me to write this post to reject all his points.

Jonathon Green fails to realise one very important thing: it is the users of language that determine the definitions of words, not lexicographers. Language is fluid, lexicographers just record the up of a point of a term.

Dog-eared dictionaries and old e-dictionaries were not democratic, but the truth is actually the opposite: the internet and search engines enables us to search the corpus for ourselves, to observe any particular word, collocation, or phrase in context, and this is often a better method than the dictionary. 

Moreover, I find it revolutionary, and democratic that people, word lovers like me, are dedicating themselves to recording, forming and promoting neologisms. In the past years, since I opened this blog, I have seen an impressive number of websites and blogs devoted to neologisms. Just take a look to the list on my blog (under Lexistars) and to the Twittersfere.

This said, Collins site is very nicely designed, appealing and cool, I like its crowdsourcing soul and I think it is the way forward for online lexicography and terminology platforms.


12 settembre 2012


Skeuomorphism: derived from the Greek words "Skeuos", meaning vessel or tool, and "morph", meaning shape. A skeuomorph is, according to the Oxford Dictionary, a “derivative object that retains ornamental design cues to a structure that was necessary in the original.” 

The term can apply to either a physical or digital creation. In other words, it means to replicate the form and material qualities of something that are no longer inherently necessary, all with the objective of making new designs “look comfortably old and familiar,” Nicholas Gessler writes in “Skeuomorphs and Cultural Algorithms.” When applied to UI, the logic here is that it will make the interface more intuitive and usable, as the user will understand how it functions based on their knowledge of the analog object it is replicating.

Source: Can We Please Move Past Apple’s Silly, Faux-Real UIs?

Words Fireworks

Word Cloud: A Film Inspired by the Visual Thesaurus.

For a word lover there is nothing better than seeing the gentle explosions of words!!

More info: http://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/blogexcerpts/word-cloud-a-film-inspired-by-the-visual-thesaurus/

10 settembre 2012


The term illustrates the convergence of social media, mobile and cloud. 

What used to be three siloed technologies have now begun merging, thanks to an infrastructure that allows them to “collapse” into each other and form a new IT construct.

Source: SoMoClo ... huh?

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