Friday, 14 May 2010

Word of the day

Today's word is the German word Verschlimmbesserung, which means an improvement which makes things worse. Thank you to Gary, and to the New Scientist, for the word. It is hard to see how we got along for so long without out, especially those of us working in higher education. The word is a combination of Verbessern (make better/improve) and Verschlimmern (make/become worse), and there is a nice dialogue about it here.

It has obviously been a necessary word in Germany, because it is over two hundred years old, and was used by Schopenhauer, among others.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Google Book Settlement

I am speaking on the Google Book Settlement next Tuesday for ten minutes without hestitation, repetition or deviation, and without Powerpoint. I am there because I am a librarian. Now read on . . .

I am seeking your help, mainly because this once worked wonderfully well when I had a similar gig (but only 3 minutes) to speak, as the librarian, about the Wikipedia. Jimmy Wales was the featured speaker, and the panel were the support acts. Alas, Sergey Brin won't be with us next week.

I'm broadly in favour of Google Books and the book settlement  - more access, more information, more digital stuff for everyone. But what do you think?