Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading
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Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading
An Educator's Reading List of Contemporary Literature, Literacy, and Reading Issues. Visit us at https://www.GoogleLitTrips.org
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The joy of lexicography

The joy of lexicography | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
Is the beloved paper dictionary doomed to extinction? In this infectiously exuberant talk, leading lexicographer Erin McKean looks at the many ways today's print dictionary is poised for transformation.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
27 November 2016

Need some smiles? Lots of laughs here.

Need some brain jogging? Be prepared to have yours jogged.

Who'da thunk a dictionary-centric talk would provide such an intellectually energizing and enjoyable contemplation-reorientation?

Ok. I thought the paper dictionary was already dead. Darned near didn't bother going past the first minute or so. That is, until the speaker Erin McKean began building a case for comparing paper dictionaries with online dictionaries. 

In McKean's words,..

" They {computers] don't change the end result. Because what a dictionary is, is it's Victorian design merged with a little bit of modern propulsion. It's steampunk. What we have is an electric velocipede. You know, we have Victorian design with an engine on it. That's all! The design has not changed."

AH! Her intent is not so much to make an argument regarding the difference between paper and digitized dictionaries as it is to reframe the argument as being about the long established Victorian design of dictionaries, off or online, that perpetuates  worn-out idea, that needs some very serious revisioning. 

Before, insisting that accelerating access speed  to definitions gives online dictionaries the trump card that ought to be enough to smuggly declare them victorious, we ought to consider McKean's thoughtful provocation...

"And in fact, online dictionaries replicate almost all the problems of print, except for searchability. And when you improve searchability, you actually take away the one advantage of print, which is serendipity. Serendipity is when you find things you weren't looking for, because finding what you are looking for is so damned difficult."

Though compelling to an intriguing degree, I"m not entirely certain that hyperlinks aren't a fairly solid counterargument. Anyone who has found him or herself exploring a trail of hyperlinked cookie crumbs knows that it's easy to get lost in the multi-layered digressions of hyperlinks' curiously fascinating side trips. Though I must admit that although I have discovered significant treasures serendipitously, at the same time, I've often meandered so far away and for so long from my original intentions that those intentions often have fallen out of my memory by the time I snap out of the cornucopic trance I've spent an indeterminate amount of time exploring. 

Nevertheless, all this is to say, that the humor and the intellectual kick in the side of the head provided by this talk provided serendipitous treasures well worth consideration and the time it took me away from cleaning the garage, which as is often the case, always something I can do tomorrow.

brought to you by GLT Global ED | Google Lit Trips, an educational nonprofit


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Go ahead, make up new words!

Go ahead, make up new words! | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
In this fun, short talk from TEDYouth, lexicographer Erin McKean encourages — nay, cheerleads — her audience to create new words when the existing ones won’t quite do. She lists out 6 ways to make new words in English, from compounding to “verbing,” in order to make language better at expressing what we mean, and to create more ways for us to understand one another.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:
16 April 2016

A charming, sometimes hilarious, and thought provoking short talk about the way new words develop. Interesting breakdown of different categories of ways new words are created.

brought to you by GLT Global ED dba Google Lit Trips, an educational nonprofit
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