Monday, November 16, 2009

erin McKean Redefines the Dictionary - Live Blogging as Proofreading Practise: Caleb Caswell

Quite an amusing speaker.She says people don't enjoy dictionaries, that they seem old world. Lexicographers keep words out of the dictionary but should instead look for new interesting words, and she describes finding new words as fishing for great catches. The English used to keep the same words (dictionary) back in the reign of the queen. Language is changing, computers don't help to change language, it keeps the language the same. Online dictionaries have the same problems as print except for searchability, the serendipity problem is also destroyed in finding things you weren't looking for. The ham-butt problem is that we've kept problems out because we think they're useless, but it's not the ham butt that is the problem, we've kept too small a pan to cook it in. Looking to change dictionaries to virtual instead of paper. Should we not study the whole of language instead of just using only accepted words? Words are the tools that we use to build the expressions of our thoughts. being in the dictionary does not validate the usage of words. being a traffic cop for grammar makes it so that several people can gave different rules. Several different uses for words are in books and are not in the dictionary but are used anyway, Many new words are created by papers and novels by the day. we don't know enough about our language and are excluding many words, the internet is made up of words and enthusiasm, it is a great place to collect words. sites don't have enough information about specific words. need to know the source of the word, who said it, what it is used in context in. if the search is wide enough we could collect more words and create a dictionary that involves the whole of language.

the speakers site is here.

1 comment:

  1. You did a good job of summarizing all of the information/ideas contained in the lecture; however, the organization made it a bit difficult to understand. Separating paragraphs here and there wouldn't have gone amiss. It would have been a good idea to actually explain the ham butt metaphor. That being said, I applaud your ability to include all points covered in the lecture in an almost-clear manner. Had I not watched the video, I would still have been able to decipher 99% of what you were talking about.