Abbreviations are making their way into the Oxford English Dictionary, as this article from the Associated Press tells us:
OMG! The exclamatory online abbreviation has won the approval of the Oxford English Dictionary.
The term – short for “Oh my God” or “Oh my gosh” – is one of dozens of new entries in the authoritative reference book’s latest online update.
Other Internet-inspired expressions given the stamp of approval include LOL, “laughing out loud”; IMHO, “in my humble opinion”; and BFF, “best friends forever.”
Dictionary compilers said that although the terms are associated with modern electronic communications, some are surprisingly old. The first confirmed use of “OMG” was in a letter in 1917.
“Things people think are new words normally have a longer history,” Graeme Diamond, the dictionary’s principal editor for new words, said Friday.
“Who knows how many people from 1917 onwards were using that term, in correspondence that we just don’t have access to. With the advent of the mass media we have access to much more personal information.”
That helps explain a flood of new terms from the online world, including ego-surfing – the practice of searching for your own name on the Internet – and dot bomb, a failed Internet company.
This exhibition at the British Library has got to be worth a look for any budding wordsmith. It charts the history and diversity of our language, and how it has evolved over time. It runs until 3rd April and I’m going to try and get there.
Thought-provoking posters reflecting the tsunami fallout in Japan. Opinions are divided but I think these ideas are pretty clever, and visually arresting.
I love Dave Trott’s comments on the Brand Republic website. The veteran advertising creative is a pearl of wisdom in beautifully crafted, simple arguments. Here’s one about airlines and customer service:
Having some skin in the game
Max Forsyth is a photographer.
He was telling me about the time he flew from Israel to Cairo, on El Al.
He went to the airport to check in.
A young woman checked his luggage.
She was very thorough, but Max expected that.
Israel knows it’s surrounded by hostile states.
Being wary of terrorist bombs is almost second nature.
And so she was perfectly pleasant, friendly and chatty, as she went through his luggage.
When she’d finished Max said goodbye.
The young woman said “Oh, I’ll see you on board.”
Max said “Are you flying to Cairo?”
She said “I have to, it’s El Al policy.”
Max said “Why? Do you live in Cairo?”
She said “No, I live here, in Israel.”
Max said “How come you’re flying to Cairo?”
She said “Standard El Al procedure. If you check the passengers’ luggage, you have to fly on the plane.”
How about that?
The person who inspects the passengers’ luggage for bombs has to bet their life on how well they do their job.
That’ll concentrate your mind.
Imagine if we had to do our job like that.
Like it was really, really important to us.
As they say in New York “Having some skin in the game”.
Maybe not our life, that would be silly.
But how about our house?
If we had to bet our house on our decisions, would we make the same decisions?
Would we make them the same way?
Would creatives be fighting for the latest esoteric/trendy technique just so they could win an award?
Knowing that if the ordinary consumers didn’t understand the ad they’d lose their house?
Would planners be recommending changing the advertising based on what a couple of focus groups said?
Knowing they were betting their mortgage on the result?
Would account men be willing to change whatever the client wanted to change, just to keep them happy?
Knowing they were betting their house on the client’s whim?
Would clients be quite so eager to get their own way, just because they could?
Even if getting their own way might cost them their house?
Or would everyone take their decisions a bit more seriously?
Would they weigh all the implications before they acted?
Would they carefully consider everyone else’s point of view?
Put their ego aside.
Look at everything from every possible angle.
Make sure nothing is left to chance.
Instead of just getting their own way.
Of course, everyone has some skin in the game.
People can lose their jobs.
But you can get another job.
Unlike El Al, no one bets their life.
Which is the reason El Al has a reputation as the safest airline to fly if you’re worried about terrorist bombs.
Interesting infographic from the Huffington Post which looks at US passport possession. We all know that passport usage in the States is shockingly low, but this study puts it in context.
Nice little site this. A succession of quotes from would-be masters of the writing craft, designed to spur on those currently embroiled in their own work.
Worth browsing. There’s a quote to resonate with everyone in here.
I enjoyed this selection of typography posters. It made a nice break from a heavy day of writing where the only use of lettering I saw came as Arial 12 on my Word document.