Category: Language

The Silent Revolution – Not.

Hitting the nail on the head may create sparks. I agree with Steven Ramage, the phrase ‘silent revolution’ is annoying. But there’s another phrase that’s worse, and that’s ‘now is the time for’ … anything. In this context, it’s ‘now is the time for geospatial’. It could be, ‘now is the time for geographic information’.…
Read more

The B-Word (Might Not Mean Brexit)

Sex, religion and who-you-voted-for used to be taboo subjects. But life changes. The weak are a long time in politics on both sides of the aisle, and today’s early-morning thought processes gave rise to certain musings on the word ‘Brexit’. Colours to the mast: I’m a fairly staunch remainer. I have absolute respect for leavers’…
Read more

The Problem with Digital Twins

Digital twins crack me up. Here’s why: it’s the origins of the word ‘digital’ and ‘twin’. As @Nick_Tune (not Nick Cage) pointed out, this language does matter now. It’ll be even more important, moving forward. In the twentieth century, we don’t think twice. Something that’s ‘digital’ is something that’s not analogue. Digital means computerised, and that’s about…
Read more

What’s in an -ology?

I had a bash at the EFGS’s Handbook of Spatial Analysis yesterday evening. Got as far as page seven before I gave in over the 1.2.1 definition of cartographic semiology [sic]. It did make me chuckle, albeit from a slightly uncharitable language perspective. According to the European Forum for Geography and Statistics’ seminal work (the…
Read more

Geospatialink - words and geo...

Geo Symptoms: Tragedy and Farce

Politics aside, one news story made my blood boil yesterday: a young mother lost her life, finding her way around a hospital. The tragedy of the incident at Edinburgh Infirmary made the final cut on three radio stations – unwelcome melancholy on a long, long drive – which made me think. How can it be…
Read more

Geospatial or Geographic?

Every Wednesday, @GeogChat hosts a fireside tweet-fest. Two enthusiastic geography teachers welcome all-comers to discuss the challenges of teaching geography. Recently, the subject veered toward literacy: the problems of handling basic gaps in KS3 and KS4 students’ vocabulary. How can you teach a subject, any subject, if children don’t understand the words you’re using to explain…
Read more

Language Must Change

It’s ironic. The word parliament comes from the verb ‘parler’, meaning to speak, but there are times when our politicians seem unable to communicate effectively. In fairness, there’s a good reason why it’s so hard to get their points across these days. The need for clarity has never been greater, but the Adult Literacy Trust tells…
Read more

Geospatialink - words and geo...

Unhappy About Tone of Content

“No, YOU have a problem with tone of voice.” It’s the wrong term for what you’re referring to, for a start. I’ll explain. Quickly. But before I do, please think: who are the most impressive speakers you’ve ever heard? Note: I said speakers, not brands. If you’re here with an interest in brands’ tones of voice,…
Read more