Tag Archives | Slang

Supercomputers and Slang

We’re still waiting for machines to pass the Turing test. Recent film work with the chatbot Cleverbot shows the futility of passing the bar for natural conversation. But there are certainly things that bots do better than us, and even those humans who are trying to stifle their progress.

Via Fortune:

Eric Brown, a research scientist with IBM (IBM), is the brains behind Watson, the supercomputer that pummeled human opponents on Jeopardy! in 2011. The biggest difficulty for Brown, as tutor to a machine, hasn’t been making Watson know more but making it understand subtlety, especially slang. “As humans, we don’t realize just how ambiguous our communication is,” he says.

Case in point: Two years ago, Brown attempted to teach Watson the Urban Dictionary. The popular website contains definitions for terms ranging from Internet abbreviations like OMG, short for “Oh, my God,” to slang such as “hot mess.”

But Watson couldn’t distinguish between polite language and profanity — which the Urban Dictionary is full of.

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Whatever, Still Most Annoying Word, You Know. Like, Seriously? Just Sayin’

We all know people who can’t stop themselves using the word “like” in virtually every sentence. It’s a word virus and not going away anytime soon per Marist Poll:

It’s that time of the year, again! It’s time for The Marist Poll to reveal the word or phrase considered to be the most annoying in casual conversation. And, for the third consecutive year, “whatever” receives the dubious honor.

Nearly four in ten adults nationally — 38% — say “whatever” grates on their nerves the most. “Like” one in five — 20% — say that verbal filler is the most irritating while 19% despise “you know.” “Just sayin’” gets on the nerves of 11% of the population compared with 7% who report “seriously” should be banned from casual conversation. Five percent are unsure.

Last year, 39% told the Marist Poll “whatever” is the most bothersome word in casual conversation while 28% thought “like” was the epitome of irritating.

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Oxford English Dictionary Adds OMG And LOL In 2011 Edition

42781174_7aae7bb0dc_zMark Brown at Wired reports:

The Oxford English Dictionary has announced the latest batch of words and phrases deemed worthy of etymological conservation. From the encyclopedia’s just-released 2011 edition, you’ll see cream crackered, wag and tinfoil hat, as well as internet-era initialisms like LOL and OMG.

They help to say more in media where there is a limit to a number of characters one may use in a single message,” says principal editor Graeme Diamond on the dictionary’s website. With the rise of concise text messages and 140-character tweets, sometimes less is more. But there’s more to OMG and LOL than just textbox frugality, though, explains Diamond.

“The intention is usually to signal an informal, gossipy mode of expression, and perhaps parody the level of unreflective enthusiasm or overstatement that can sometimes appear in online discourse, while at the same time marking oneself as an ‘insider’ au fait with the forms of expression associated with the latest technology.”

[Continues at Wired]

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Oxford English Dictionary Includes ‘Web Lingo’

The Oxford English Dictionary is keeping up with the times, integrating “web slang” into the dictionary. Can’t kids just these slang words up online? CNN reports:

Are years of e-mails, text messaging and status updates finally affecting the written word?

#nokidding.

The venerable Oxford American Dictionary has added a ginormous (adj., not included) list of words inspired by the interweb (noun, included).

The next time you look up a word, expect to see lots of abbreviations, webspeak and casual slang.

The New Oxford American Dictionary has added cultural slang in the past, but never as aggressively as it has in the latest edition.

Its big brother, the less frequently updated Oxford English Dictionary, is also going through major changes.

Continues at CNN

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