New Words to Spell

June 5, 2014  
Posted in News, reference

Merriam-Webster has come out with its new list of approved words for 2014, and I am extremely excited. Not only are they new words I can add to my vocabulary, I can also potentially use them in Words with Friends or Scrabble. The interesting news came from State College in their article, “Adding New Words to Our Lexicon.” So Words with Friends opponents, be on the watch for selfie and fracking in our games soon.

However, the author of this article offers up other contenders that didn’t make the cut. I won’t get to use words like obcampustacle, anticrastinate, or mautiship. Can you imagine the score on those?

I will have to urschel my spelling by using other new and exciting words.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.

 

Most Searched Words

May 21, 2014  
Posted in News, reference, search

I always find it interesting to learn about the behaviors of others. Airports, shopping malls, and sports venues always provide entertainment to me as I muse on the reasoning behind some wardrobe choices, quirky behavior, or companions. That might be why social media has always intrigued me, as it is like people watching from home. So when Dictionary.com compiled a list of words looked up the most around the country, I was fascinated. This interesting list was described by NBC Chicago in their article, “Study Reveals Most Looked-Up Words in Chicago.”

It appears that folks in the good old Windy City were the most likely to look up the word “peatier”, which by the way is defined as pertaining to, resembling or containing the substance peat.

Minneapolis residents were the main searchers of the word “fricassee,” and New York searched “precipitin test.”

Los Angeles residents were the most frequent searchers of the word “walking stick”.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.

The End of an Era

May 15, 2014  
Posted in News, reference

The future of the more than 130-year old Oxford English Dictionary (OED) may be moving to cyberspace. The sheer number of English words put into use since the 20-volume, second edition was published in 1989 could make version 3.0 too big and too expensive to print. The next edition is expected to be at least twice the size of the last. Because of this, it may be published digitally only.

The decision hasn’t been made yet, and Oxford University Press is quick to point out that the concise and compact versions of the Oxford English Dictionary, commonly on sale at bookstores, aren’t in danger of going out of print. The decision whether to print the third edition of the complete OED – the multi-volume version more often used at libraries, at universities, and by scholars – is at least a decade away. This news came to us from CBS News in their article, “Stop the presses: Is the dictionary dead?”

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.

Word Geeks Have a Say

April 16, 2014  
Posted in News, reference

I have confessed my geekness here before when it comes to Scrabble, Words with Friends, spelling bees, and words in general. This explains how intrigued I was to consider what word I would add to the dictionary. My mind raced with possibilities. Was there a word that used a Q, K and Z? Just think of the points that combination would add up to, and the relief of using all the “problem children” at once. This interesting topic was found on AL.com in their article, “What word would you add to the official Scrabble dictionary: Amazeballs? Bromance? Kwyjibo? (with glossary).”

Hasbro Game Night has issued a challenge on its Facebook page called Scrabble Word Showdown, asking players to nominate words. They are updating the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online Official Scrabble Players Dictionary for the first time in nine years.

Fans were able to nominate their words and in the style of the NCAA Final Four eliminations – the final two were zen and geocache. Do you have a preference?

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.

Three Librarians Walk Into a Casino

April 11, 2014  
Posted in News, reference

If you are still on the fence about whether to attend the American Libraries Association (ALA) Annual Meeting in Las Vegas this summer, this bit of news might help you make your decision. There will be a special performance by the Oxford Commas, a band composed of librarians and university press editors who are dedicated to raising the grammatical standard in popular music. The set list will include such favorites as: Whom Do You Love?, You Haven’t Seen Anything Yet, and Two Out of Three Is Not Bad.

Conference information and registration can be found here.

I know what you are thinking. A bunch of librarians in Las Vegas? Pretty wild and crazy, but don’t worry – with guest speakers like B.J. Novak and Jane Fonda, they should tone it down below the “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” level.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.

Who’s the Boss?

March 26, 2014  
Posted in News, reference

In case you haven’t read the press release that came out last week from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the title should give you reason for pause: “NTIA Announces Intent to Transition Key Internet Domain Name Functions.”

Many are alarmed at the thought of giving control away of something the United States invented and does well. Is this happening because of the National Security Agency (NSA) metadata kerfuffle? Is there some guilt involved in the media storm in response to the espionage use of the Internet?

Anyone who reads the news on a consistent basis and takes time to research and learn more about various topics realizes that what we are given in the form of “news” is often good public relations spun to guide our beliefs and voting practices in certain directions. With the use of the Internet, we can learn on our own, hear both sides of the stories, and discern our own beliefs and convictions. But will that remain true if someone else is in control?

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.

Information Architecture Librarian Position Available

March 13, 2014  
Posted in News, reference

We are always excited to share with our readers career opportunities in the world of taxonomy, indexing, and even semantic technology. Even if you aren’t in the market for a career move, it is always good to stay on top of what is available and how your field of choice is evolving.

ASRC Primus Solutions, Inc. is currently seeking an Information Architecture Librarian in Washington, D.C. This type of job isn’t posted often, as you know. The focus of this position is to provide support for information architecture, user experience, and web usability projects. The librarian will serve on a team that provides support for the client in the areas of creating content inventories, maintaining web pages, compiling and analyzing web metrics, and providing guidance to the client group for the assignment of appropriate metadata to its web content.

If you are in the middle of hunting for a job, best of luck in your endeavors.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in taxonomies, metadata, and semantic enrichment to make your content findable.

The Wide World of Vocabulary

February 25, 2014  
Posted in News, reference

The average English-language speaker knows between 25,000 and 40,000 words, according to Oxford English Dictionary (OED) Chief Editor Michael Proffitt, who recently appeared on CNN’s Amanpour interview show, hosted by Christiane Amanpour. The Oxford English Dictionary bills itself as the “definitive record of the English language.” To date, they have recorded 800,000 words and counting. This extremely interesting information came from CNN’s article “Thought you had a big vocabulary? Think again.”

“Even people who are doing 40,000, at the highest end, it’s about five percent of what we’ve got in the OED,” he said. “And that’s not all the words in the language.”

Proffitt is new to the OED and faces the challenges that comes with texting, tweeting, and other social media workarounds. You have to wonder how they plan to stay relevant. Proffitt doesn’t seem to be worried.

“It was one of the first reference works available on CD-ROM,” he said. “And then it was also one of the first reference works available online, in 2000.”

Words or terms you think are new or new-ish can be dated back to another century. For example, “omg” – an acronym-ish we think dates all the way back to the 80′s and valley girls – really had its first known usage in a 1917 letter written by a British admiral to none other than Winston Churchill.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.

Capturing Cultural References

February 18, 2014  
Posted in metadata, News, reference

Webster’s move over, the Urban Dictionary is quickly becoming the “go to” source for those trying to keep up with cultural and current terminology. Their existence on the Web allows them to be the anthropologist capturing cultural moments in real time. This interesting news came from The New York Times in their syndicated article, “Urban Dictionary tracks language of the Internet.”

The site is a crowdsourced online dictionary that lets anyone contribute words and definitions. It was started in 1999 by a college freshman. Since that time, more than 7 million definitions of words, acronyms and phrases have been listed on the site, with 2,000 more definitions added daily. Not only has the content grown, but the site’s audience has grown steadily from 6 million in November 2010 to a whopping 8.4 million in October 2013.

The Urban Dictionary reflects the fast pace of the Internet. With traditional dictionaries, it can take months or even years for new words and terms to be granted entry. The World Wide Web waits on no one. This brings up the question of filters, but that is for another time and another article.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.

Language Comes into the Future

January 27, 2014  
Posted in News, reference, Technology

The Oxford English Dictionary is progressing towards a third edition with over 619,000 words compiled between its binding. To compile a dictionary of nearly every word in the English language was an endeavor typical of Victorian times. This mammoth-sized task resulted in the first installment emerging in 1884 with its contents “A to Ant.”

The trusty dictionary now has a new chief editor, Michael Proffitt, who assumes the responsibility of retaining the vaunted traditions while ensuring relevance in an era of Googled definitions and text talk. This very interesting topic was brought to us by The New York Times and their article, “Language by the Book, but the Book Is Evolving.”

In a recent interview with the new chief editor, he shared that he believes a dictionary’s time has come, despite many people’s view that it is no longer needed with technology, real-time communication, and social media. He defended that statement with another, “People need filters much more than they did in the past.”

Truer words have never been spoken, or tweeted, or texted, or…

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.

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