Is the Web killing the dictionary?

Paper, e-book, app.I have been going to lexicography conferences for many years now, including the Euralex congresses and the eLex series. One popular opinion that always emerges in talks and conversations at such events is that the Web is – supposedly – killing the dictionary. Now that I’m about to attend yet another instalment of the eLex conference (taking place in Tallinn, Estonia this year – great, I hear the Baltic Sea is lovely in October!) I thought it would be a good idea to dissect this opinion a little. Let’s dissect away, then. Continue reading


Linguistics of the Gaelic Languages 2013: a conference report

Oh, the things I do for fun at weekends! For example last weekend, I attended the Linguistics of the Gaelic Languages conference in University College Dublin (19 – 20 April 2013). This was a small but focused event, with 20 to 30 people attending to discuss latest research on Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx. Here is my report. Continue reading

European Data Forum 2013: a trip report

By LOD2project on Flickr

Impression from EDF2013 by LOD2project on Flickr

I’ve decided to enliven this blog a little by using it as an outlet for trip reports to conferences and other work-related events I travel to. Which is funny because my first trip report will be from a conference I didn’t have to travel to at all (unless a fifteen-minute walk from my front door counts as travelling): the European Data Forum (EDF) held in Dublin’s Croke Park Conference Centre on 9 and 10 April 2013.

This was an occasion for information professionals to meet and discuss, well, data. You might think that that sounds too vague. Surely, what can anybody have to say about data in general except that it is the stuff that computers eat? A lot, actually. In the last couple of years, something has changed about the way we understand data: what it is, how we produce it, how much of it we produce, and how we use it. I will summarize this under two broad headings: big data and open data. Continue reading

Tales from the land where “no” means “sometimes yes”

libraryI’ve just spent a couple of days in Belfast attending the Digital Resources for the Humanities and Arts (DRHA) conference. This is a conference for people who work in a relatively new discipline called digital humanities – which is something not many people have heard of and, I suspect, even those who have may be unsure what it actually is. So I thought this would be a good excuse to put down some of my own thoughts about digital humanities.

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Europe’s speckled carpet

This is a near-translation of an earlier blog post in Irish.


Tartu University

Recently, I attended the International Conference on Minority Languages in Tartu, Estonia. This conference is held every two years but this year was my first time there. It was an occasion for people who care about minority languages to come together and network.

Broadly speaking, a language is a minority language when it is not the main language of communication in its country. There are lots of such languages, for example Catalan, Welsh, Breton and many others most people have never heard of. Many of them are languages that are strong in a neighbouring country, such as the German-speaking minority in Italy or the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland. Others are on their own completely, such as Basque or Irish.

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