Monday, 30 June 2008

Word of the day

Today's word is gossipsize, and thank you to Dilbert for this one. In fact, this looks like a Dilbert original, and others clearly think so too - "Gossipsize: futuro neologismo? Striscia di Dilbert di ieri: Ancora una volta sono ammirata dall'incredibile flessibilità della lingua ..." As the author goes on to point out, this word is made up of the words gossip+downsize, coined by Catbert, "il malefico direttore del personale." It is also picked up by the wordie website - "like Flickr but without the photos." And the last word goes to another curious site, Proinsias: quelque chose se dit, which is subtitled "Learn some English with Dilbert." Gossipsize is defined as "jeu de mot (le mot n’existe pas en réalité): se débarasser d’un employé en employant le gossip."

Well, good news Proinsias, the word does exist now, and a very useful word it is.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Word of the day

Thanks to Kathryn for creepy treehouse. There is a great definition of the term by Jared Stein, and as I read it I realised that this was a term we in the education industry need. It is said to have been coined by Chris Lott in January this year, and to be current amongst "ed techs".

The definitions in Flexknowlogy (above) are "n. A place, physical or virtual (e.g. online), built by adults with the intention of luring in kids." You can substitute the words teachers and students for adults and kids, or for that matter anything similar - lawyers and laypeople is another. And

"n. Any institutionally-created, operated, or controlled environment in which participants are lured in either by mimicking pre-existing open or naturally formed environments, or by force, through a system of punishments or rewards." There are more, and Mr Stein returned to the topic later.

My own non-educational example is the possum box that Peter the Possum Man installed in an old pear tree after he had removed the possums from the house roof, to their disgust. The possums climb past it every night, but never use it. Too creepy, I guess. Is that like a teacher setting up a Facebook group for the class? Or not?

Friday, 6 June 2008

Word of the day

Today's word is RLUK. Yes, it is not a word, but an acronym. And I just can't believe that my colleagues in the UK have changed their collective name from CURL (Consortium of University and Research Libraries) to RLUK (Research Libraries UK). The new name is even a phonemic anagram of the previous name.

You can read all about the new organisation at their new website. Naturally, being university librarians they do a lot of interesting things.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Word of the day

Today's word is backscatter, and thank you to Kerry Webb, of ALIA, Incite and Kerry's blog. Backscatter refers to one more category of the detritus which litters the Internet. It is those messages which you receive from systems administrators telling you that your message was undeliverable, or some such. In fact, you didn't send a message. Someone has forged your address in spam. There is a good definition in the Wikipedia, and the topic is covered on spam sites like Spam Resource. And Computerworld has an interesting piece about it, too.