How words get into the Oxford English Dictionary

I have seen the word "linguaphile" (meaning word lover or language lover) on Dictionary.com and the Free Dictionary, but it's not there in the Oxford English Dictionary. It no longer tries to be comprehensive. "The language is expanding so fast this may be an impossible mission," said Edmund Weiner, deputy chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Mark Abley recalls their conversation in his book, The Prodigal Tongue: Dispatches from the Future of English, where he also writes about Singlish and other variants of the English language, as I mentioned here.

"The Internet poses problems," said Weiner. "We tend to avoid citing the Web unless we feel we really have to. What we've tended to cite are newsgroups and discussion groups – they guarantee to archive them for a long time. We've occasionally taken quotations from websites. But we don't like doing that."

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Tim Berners-Lee calls for web studies

Sir Tim Berners-Lee talks about social networks and the need to create an academic discipline — cutting across technology, psychology, anthropology, and other fields — to study and understand the web, says Jeff Jarvis. Read his post on Buzz Machine.This video from his blog was taken at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos in January.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, America's oldest technological university, has announced it is creating the first undergraduate degree in web science, says Jarvis.

Columbia University will soon offer a combined engineering and
journalism degree, says Wired.

Grateful Dead hailed by world’s oldest Sunday paper

The world's oldest Sunday paper, the Observer, founded in 1791 and relaunched today, pays tribute to the Grateful Dead . Why Bowie and the Grateful Dead are the web's real visionaries, explains John McNaughton. I love the Dead, so here's what he has to say about them:

The Dead pioneered ideas and practices that are only now being reluctantly embraced by corporate America…

The Grateful Dead decided that they wouldn't try to stop people making bootleg recordings of their concerts, figuring that what they lost in royalties would be more than compensated for by being more widely known, and by the resulting sales of merchandise. It turned out that they were right. The band anticipated by decades the "Freemium" business model now being touted by expensive managerial gurus.

Here's more of the band.

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Obama shows the power of the Web

The Wall Street Journal thinks Barack Obama won for the same reasons that I mentioned in my post, Obama win: A win for money, message and Net, within hours of his victory on November 4.

In Obama Ran A Capitalist Campaign, the Wall Street Journal says:

If Barack Obama ran for president by calling for a heavier hand of government, he also won by running one of the most entrepreneurial campaigns in history.

Mr. Obama, following FDR's mastery of radio and JFK's success on TV, is the first candidate to fully exploit the Web. The community organizer seemed to realize that new social networking and video technologies were perfect for politics. It didn't hurt that Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes worked for the campaign…

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Only web-savvy journos for Guardian

Writing, reporting and editing skills are no longer enough for journalists working for the Guardian and Observer newspapers in Britain.

Guardian News and Media denies it is ditching experienced print journalists in favour of web-savvy younger staff, reports Press Gazette.

But it hopes to enroll all 800 of its staff journalists on a voluntary "digital awareness programme" ahead of its move to a a new high-tech 24/7 integrated newsroom in London's King's Cross at the end of this year, reports Brand Republic.

The one-day course teaches basic video and audio and web publishing skills.

It's the smart thing to do — especially for a newspaper like the Guardian.

Drop in readership

The Guardian has suffered the biggest year-on-year drop in readership numbers among the British national dailies.

It was read by an average of 1,121,000 people between January and December 2007, down 10 per cent from the previous year, reports Brand Republic.

In fact, the staff have been told to expect job cuts as the company reshapes its operations over the next 18 months to focus on digital media and move to new offices this year.

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