Hot and humid

Jetlagged, sweaty and hungry
in a small yellow room
with four beds, four people and a mouse
I begin my discovery of the great city
There’s piss on the floor in the restroom
was one thing I learnt today, placing my makeup bag in it
Also, the code to use for international calls is 011, not 00 like in Sweden
I long to see my friends
yet treasure solitude
But I’m not alone
two Irish girls who have travelled the world in eight weeks say they can’t wait to get home
The Australian in the bed beneath mine is sick of hostel life as well
and I do – right now – feel a little too old for this.

The lecture at Border’s was really interesting. John Morse, or Morris – I didn’t quite catch his name – is the editor of Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. He was talking about the selection process for new words, and it was quite amusing. One interesting thing was how the editors before the age of the web had simply guessed what people are interested in. Now they use the web service as a way to validate their work, keeping statistics on what people search for. There were three major categories that people looked for words in. 1. Usage problems, for instance tricky pairs like effect/affect. This exaple is the most looked up, with one example. “The good old four letter word is probably THE most looked up word. I would have thought people knew the meaning of that by now,” he said.
2. Words related to news events. “That’s the scary part of being a dictionary editor. You get to watch first hand as people try to grasp what’s happening, to find words for it. During 911 the words looked up were “retibution”, “condolence”, “succumb”, “surreal”…”
And finally – 3. Plain generic English vocabulary. Tricky spelling, words with multiple meanings etc.


Web veteran, journalist, blogger since 1998, loves creativity and originality, photography and her family. [More]

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