Friday, 1 February 2008

Word of the day

Today's word is continuous partial attention, a term used by Courtney Gibson, from the ABC, at the National Library's Innovative Ideas thing last year. Courtney Gibson was then the head of Arts, Entertainment and Comedy at ABC TV and has since moved up. She was quoting Linda Stone a decade before (in 1997) and the term appears, from an online search, to have been heavily used since then. In fact, Linda Stone has her own website, which resolves to another website dedicated to the term continuous partial attention. Wow.

The term has an established definition - Wordspy defines it as "a state in which most of one's attention is on a primary task, but where one is also monitoring several background tasks just in case something more important or interesting comes up." Its clearly a useful term - how did we get on without it?

1 comment:

Bec said...

I like to think of 'continuous partial attention' as doing crosswords while watching TV ... all fine and dandy until I try to watch a foreign language film with subtitles.