Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Word of the day

Today's word is DILL, and my thanks to Diane Costello. This is from the DILL website: "Third-country scholars (i.e. scholars from countries other than the EU member states, the EEA-EFTA states or the candidate countries for accession to the EU) can apply for an Erasmus Mundus scholarship to conduct research and teaching within the DILL Consortium for a limited period of time. The scholarship covers a maximum stay of three months, and amounts to €13,000."

DILL is a masters program in digital library learning, aimed at students from outside Europe, and based in Oslo, Parma or Tallinn. It sounds a great course, and I advise all librarians to check it out. But with significant money at stake, I thought that the acronym would have received more attention, and care would be given to avoid anything inappropriate.

Or so I thought. But a browse through Google reveals the fact that almost everyone in the world uses dill only as a noun describing the notable herbused in cooking with cucumbers, gravlax, borscht and so on, and also for protection against witches. The Australian usage is extremely rare, and seems limited to Australia - so rare that I had to actually use the library (rather than the Web) to find the Australasian meaning defined - i.e. "Austral./NZ informal a naive or foolish person" from the concise OED. Examples of
uses on the Web are mostly humourous, like the City of Hume DILL Driver (dangerous and illegal) program, and the NineMSN recipe for dill salmon ("Acting like a dill").

Fancy that.

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