Thinking Digital talk from last May …

Erin McKean of @Wordnik @ThinkingDigital 2011 from Codeworks Ltd on Vimeo.

I had a great time at this conference — really inspiring! Here's more about it: 

"If you've not heard of The Thinking Digital Conference, it's an annual gathering of creatives, innovators, businesspeople, entrepreneurs and techies. Each May, nearly 700 Thinkers gather over 3 days to explore and celebrate the ideas and innovations that are changing our world."

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Thanks Herb!


2 thoughts on “Thinking Digital talk from last May …

  1. Thanks for sharing your presentation, which gave me plenty to think about. Your points regarding the creation of Wordnik especially resonated with me – that people are “writing to communicate, not lexicographers writing for reference books”.
    I’m currently reading Henry Hitchings’ fascinating book, ‘The Language Wars’ (with a rather tongue-in-cheek subtitle, ‘A History of Proper English’) that explores the struggles over words and how they should be spelled, used, pronounced. The recurring lesson is that language cannot be truly tamed; it is alive and constantly changing. The limitations of traditional dictionary form have always been not only a practical concern but also a source of controversy: who decides which words are included and which are left out? It seems Wordnik responds positively to this, by incorporating new ways of defining words and generating large scale contribution and interaction.
    I do have some questions (hopefully not too silly, although it seems this approach is accepted) – does one form of English dominate the definitions? For example, are there a greater number of American contributors and / or searchers? I noticed that there are helpful variations (e.g. the “related words” section) when I checked both ‘autocue’ and ‘teleprompter’.


  2. Thanks Madeleine!
    Wordnik right now is primarily American English, although we do also include sentences from The Guardian in our corpus, and we have Wordniks from all over the world. We’d love to include more varieties of English …


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