The Worldwide Weblog of Donald Pincher

by Joshua Gaskell

Tag: New Media

Tuesday, 4th August 2015

Tweet of thumb, n.

Pronunciation: /twiːt əv θʌm/
Etymology: < tweet n. + of prep. + thumb n., after word of mouth.

Tweeted utterance, testimony, or communication; spec. (with reference to advertising or promotion): Twitterspherical communication of any kind between individuals (rather than via the mass media).

Saturday, 17th January 2015

Internet, n.

Pronunciation: /ˈɪntənɛt/
Etymology: < Latin ‘he interns’, 3rd pers. sing. pres. of intern v., represented by -et suffix

The global computer network, a connection to which allows access to websites (inc. social media) and on which those interning at newspapers and magazines are grateful to work for free. Cf. In medias res, adj.

Wednesday, 14th January 2015

It’s clear that the online world and ‘digital-first’ publications like the Guardian increasingly see copy containing correct punctuation and typographical emphases as being outdated, cluttered-looking onscreen, time-consuming to produce, and in a vague sense elitist. It occurs to me that in the last of these the apostrophe is the worst offender, since one of its two primary uses is to denote possession and in so doing, when inserted before the ess, to hierarchise the many into one.

For example, I’ve complained before about Kings Cross for King’s Cross, but perhaps rather than sloppiness it reflects a democratic wish that the crossroads may belong to no one and that we may all be kings! And at the other end of the spectrum from unpunctuated digi-chic is the greengrocer’s apostrophe, which maybe, compared to the tyranny of the professional punctuationist’s, does no harm. Pear’s 30p a pound

Saturday, 10th January 2015

Online, n.

Pronunciation: /ɒnˈlʌɪn/
Etymology: < online adj. used absol.

New media. A service, resource, etc., available on or performed using a computer network (esp. the Internet), or a person or organisation that can operate or accesses this.

I’ve not yet seen online listed in a dictionary as a noun. Despite its being an ugly usage, I’m now quite looking forward to finding my ear’s forecast confirmed.

Friday, 12th December 2014

I click on the OED’s ‘Lost for Words?’ “random” word generator and the first two that come up are,

  • Buzz: ‘A groundless fancy, whim, ‘fad’. […] A busy rumour.’
  • Feed: ‘Food (for cattle); fodder’.

Are they trying to tell us something?

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