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Weekly Roundup: Something for the Weekend

Time flies when you’re having fun – and this week has been no exception. Among the creative and exciting projects going on at Fotofire, I have been keeping an eye on the latest web news. Here are a few fun examples of the most recent industry gossip to ease you into the weekend.

Too Long; Didn’t Read

Oxford has once again added a list of ‘trendy’ words to its online dictionary. An Oxford blog post states, “We’ve just added some srsly buzzworthy words to our online dictionary – squee! With influences ranging from technology to fashion, there is something for everyone in the update.”

Many sources, including the BBC, have misreported the story, prompting outraged obituaries decrying the very end of the English language. The reports have failed to make the distinction between the Oxford English Dictionary and Oxford Dictionaries Online. The online dictionary focuses on current English and includes modern meanings and uses of words. The OED, on the other hand, is an historical text that forms a record of all words and meanings in English (and has been doing for over 1000 years). From Old English to present day, the OED includes many obsolete and historical terms - words are never removed from the OED. So prescriptivists can rest easy, for now: we won’t be seeing ‘twerk’, ‘selfie’ or ‘squee’ in the OED.

So why so many false reports? Perhaps the journalists reading Oxford’s press release just thought ‘TL;DR’, and didn’t get to the part where the distinction is made.

A part of me can’t help but wonder whether a portion of these writers avoided the distinction deliberately, to boost their article’s outrage factor and, in turn, their page views. Many articles report that terms have been ‘Added to Oxford Dictionary,’ which is correct, but misleading.

The latest additions include words like ‘selfie’, ‘derp’, ‘TL;DR’, and the most controversial of them all: ‘twerk’. First it was the faddish and ‘minging’ Ali G-isms, now the OD is taking it upon itself to define the behaviour of Miley Cyrus’ bottom. Could this all be a cry for attention from the OD? I understand that the OD is trying to record the English language as it develops, but I can’t help thinking they’re also revelling in the headlines, the publicity, the fury, and the scandal. Check the back of your skirt Oxford, I’m pretty sure its tucked into your knickers and your PR department is showing.

Brum's Books

To help develop the relationship between language, art, the Internet and technology, Birmingham is set to see a new £200m library. Dutch architect Mecanoo has used Birmingham’s bijou heritage as an excuse to give the build a bit of bling.

The library, which will be the largest of its kind in Europe, has been adorned with loop shaped metal ribbons, reminiscent of jewellery. Expansive open-plan floors link with weaving flights of escalators that suspend precipitously though dramatic interlocking rotundas, which climb from cavernous library terraces, up through floating rings of bookshelves, to the heavenly reaches of a light-flooded atrium. This has been a finely tuned project, more familiar to the world of shopping malls and airport terminals than a repository of knowledge.

Take a look at these pictures of visit for yourself – the library opens next Tuesday!

Cadbury Castle

In other, less serious architecture news, Cadbury has build a confectionary castle on Brighton Beach. The 10-foot castle weighs in at just over half a ton and has utilised 90,000 sweetie pebbles in its construction, as well as quarter of a ton of fondant icing cement and 20 kilos of icing sugar. The castle took 400 hours to build. I wouldn't bother going to see it, someone will have eaten it.

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