Sunday, March 18, 2007

Wiki in the new OED

It's that time of year again and the new words are being welcomed into the OED. Wiki's made it:

THE OXFORD ENGLISH Dictionary has granted ‘wiki’ access to its hallowed ranks of words deemed acceptable.

‘Wiki wiki’ is actually a Hawaiian phrase that means ‘quick’ but ‘wiki’ earned global renown in a secondary meaning as a communally editable web page.

'Virtualize' is also there although the OED seems to think its recent upturn in usage comes from virtual reality rather than the techie business of making a computer act as many computers.

Members of think-tank Demos - and how much freedom to nip down the pub for a few hours brainstorming does that job suggest? - have thrown in the opinion that what is really needed is a web page that reflects the fast-moving change of today’s language. Yes, that’s really necessary.

What the fools at Demos think is really of no concern to any sentient being.

Latinos and Web Usage

There could be a couple of reasons for this:

WASHINGTON  —  Latinos are not going online as much as non-Hispanic whites and blacks, even at younger ages where Internet use is far greater, according to a report released Wednesday.

Fifty-six percent of adult Latinos use the Internet, compared with 70 percent of whites and about 60 percent of blacks, according to the Pew Hispanic Center and the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

The Internet use of U.S.-born Latinos is comparable to that of whites, but about two-thirds of adult Latinos in the United States were born elsewhere.

• Click here for's Personal Technology Center.

The study found that only one in three Spanish-dominant Latinos use the Internet. Latinos online tend to be primarily English speakers or bilingual and have graduated from college and high school.

"There hasn't been as much attention paid to offline populations as the Internet has become almost de facto in the United States. People assume you are online and that's not the case for everyone," said Susannah Fox, one of the study's authors.

Yup: recent immigrants are likely to be poorer, so they'll use the web less.