Abbreviations & acronyms – the bane of my life

Now before you start getting jealous, I am not writing this on the beach. The picture (Away From Keyboard, in case you’re wondering) is just to try to combat January blues.

Today I have a wonderful discovery to share with you – the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations.

Abbreviations are one of things that really irritate me. Just made to exclude others who are not “in the know”. Unfortunately, we have to use, understand, and, for some of us, translate these nasty little tikes. And OK, I will admit, sometimes, they can save quite a bit of time writing out long titles. Continue reading

Coffee break training

OK, so maybe your daily coffee doesn’t look like the coffee in the picture, but we can all dream, can’t we?

Today’s post is about a great idea from the UK – to provide software training in tiny bite-sized chunks. Their slogan is “IT training, one cup at a time”.

Coffee Break Training have a YouTube channel where they kindly offer some free video tutorials on Microsoft Office products. In their instructor-led sessions delivered by webinar, you can choose half-hour slots when it suits you, and the prices are very reasonable indeed (I have no vested interest in this!).

Finding out about you

On Monday I added a little poll to the left sidebar of the blog – to find out more about my readership. I will publish the results in a couple of weeks when people have had time to vote.

I’d also like to know what sort of posts you want to see. You can tell me either by email (the form is at the bottom of the sidebar if you scroll down), or by adding a comment to this post.

Do vote in the poll and write in with your suggestions – I really would like to hear from you!

Monday smiles – light bulbs and arks

As my readers may have guessed by now, I do think that a sprinkling of fun is important in life. Today I have two little texts for you – one lampoons lawyers (my apologies in advance, but hopefully you have a good sense of humo(u)r), and the other bureaucracy and nanny States (no apologies there…!)

So, first “How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?”

And second, “Noah’s Ark Today” (the subject of which is definitely not specific to Canada!)

The texts were posted on an award-winning blog with the unexpected name “Law is Cool“, which addresses “issues related to law school and the legal field with a Canadian focus”.

Have a good week!

Multilingual semantic map on steroids

A few weeks ago, I told you about a dictionary on steroids (see here). Today’s post is about a multilingual semantic map and thesaurus on steroids! It’s called the Sketch Engine. At present it can be used in 42 languages.

The Sketch Engine is an awesome tool. It is extremely useful for everyone who manipulates words and needs ideas.

Here are just a few examples of how it can be used:
– To create brand names: The Most Powerful Naming Tool I’ve Ever Used
– To help translators looking for collocations (the words that ‘sound right’ together)
– To give inspiration to lawyers when wording their pleadings
– To help academics when writing papers or theses
– To help journalists and authors get around ‘writer’s block’
– For non-native speakers of a language to check which words are used together and how

Continue reading