News & Views

MARCH/APRIL 2013

I am proud to announce that the Philadelphia Chapter has received the STC Chapter of Excellence award for the third straight year. This honor is a testament to the dedication and efforts of our chapter volunteers, including Katie Brauchle, Al Brown, Barrie Byron, Jackie Caddle, David Calloway, Lori Corbett, Donn DeBoard, Todd DeLuca, Tim Esposito, Adriane Hunt, Jake Kelly, Melanie Kuchma, Karen Levine, Jessie Mallory, Scott McCoy, Mark Ploegstra, Edna Smith, Gary Sternberg, Danielle Villegas, and Katie Wilson.

Speaking of dedication, Lori Corbett was recently honored with the STC Distinguished Chapter Service Award. Lori has made enormous contributions to our chapter over the years, including serving as chapter president, newsletter editor, and hospitality committee chair for the 2008 STC Summit in Philadelphia. She has also served as a member of the STC Board. Congratulations to Lori for this long overdue award!

Our Mid-Atlantic Conference was a big success. Again, thanks to Lori Corbett, who as our conference chair, performed such an admirable job coordinating the many details involved with planning this event. If you weren't able to attend the conference, you can still access the presentation handouts on Slideshare.net.

On April 24, the STC South Jersey networking group will be getting together at 6:00 pm at Famous Dave's Barbeque, 104 Route 70 East, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034. The restaurant is on Route 70, a few blocks below I-295 (from I-295, take the Route 70 West exit) and just above Kings Highway. If you are planning to attend, please RSVP to Gary Sternberg.

If you are still thinking about attending the Summit from May 5-8, don't delay! You have until April 18 to qualify for the Advanced STC member rate of $1,050. If you plan to attend, I look forward to seeing you there.

Because of the Summit, we will not be having a chapter meeting in May. Our next chapter meeting will on June 12 at the Great American Pub in Conshohocken, PA. We will then close out the 2012-2013 programming season with a Competition Roadshow on June 26 at Vertex in Berwyn, PA. More information will follow about both events.

In other news, STC Associate Fellow, Cheri Lockett Zubak, will be leading a new academic outreach effort. The goal will be to contact local universities and high schools to help make students aware of our profession. This type of outreach is vital to help keep our profession and chapter growing. If you are interested in participating, please send email to volunteer@stcpmc.org.

We soon will be sending out a call for nominations for our chapter elections in May. If you have been thinking about volunteering for an elected position or other type of role with our chapter, now is the time to do so. There are plenty of opportunities available to further your career goals. By volunteering, you can enhance your skills, build relationships, and gain recognition with your peers. I encourage you to give it a try.

On a final note, this will be the last issue of the newsletter under the helm of our editor, Edna Smith. Edna has been a great asset to us over the years and we wish her all the best!

As president over the past year, I have been continually impressed by the vitality of our chapter and I hope to see you at our upcoming events.

Stephen Adler
PresidentSTC Philadelphia Metro Chapter
president@stcpmc.org


Is English an International Language?
Part 2

By Danielle M. Villegas

techcommgeekmom@me.com

David Crystal, author of English as a Global Language, has said that in the pursuit of a World Standard Spoken English (WSSE), American English seems to be the most influential in its development, as American grammar is now starting to influence contemporary British usage.  He also discusses at length how different dialects will allow national and international intelligibility to start developing. He said, "If WSSE emerges as the neutral global variety in due course, it will be make redundant the British/American distinction. British and American English will still exist, of course, but as varieties expressing national identity in the UK and the USA.

Edmund H. Weiss, the author of The Elements of International English Style, also points out that there is clash when trying to come up with a standard version of English, namely between "...globalization, producing a one-size-fits-all solution for a diverse world of English speakers, versus localization, adapting and modifying this universal model for particular readers in particular locales."  Where English is a second language, Weiss demonstrates, the idioms and figures of speech end up resembling the language structure of the native language. Because of there are about 400 million native English speakers, and about a billion people who speak it as a second language or as a foreign language (for business or a profession), the importance of clear, unambiguous communication is undeniable.

There are many great resources available about this conundrum that can help put everything in perspective, especially in a world in which the Internet is starting to spread the use of English more and more all the time. Some good ones include:

Recent Articles:
Internet + English= Netglish
Learning English online: How the Internet is changing language
Tongue and Tech: the Many Emotions from Which English Has No Words
 
Books:
·         Do's and Taboos of Using English Around the World by Roger E. Axtell
·         Divided by a Common Language: A Guide to British and American English by Christopher Davies
·         The Elements of International English Style: A Guide to Writing Correspondence, Reports, Technical Documents, and Internet Pages for a Global Audience by Edmond H. Weiss
·         English as a Global Language by David Crystal
·         Brit-Think, Ameri-Think by Jane Walmsley
 
Podcast:
·         International English by Danielle M. Villegas at https://soundcloud.com/techcommgeekmom/international-english

So, what's a technical writer supposed to do? The best thing to do is to be exceedingly careful of using slang or idioms that relate to one's native English, and be aware of local usage used on a global scale. This isn't an easy task at all, yet it’s an important consideration when translating English into another language, let alone trying to write for English speakers globally. 


Words, Words, Words

The process for entering a word into the dictionary used to take even longer, says Sokolowski. "It used to take many years, if not decades. But now, with the speed of communication and the speed of publication, we have words like blog that pop up and become almost universal and almost ubiquitous within a year or two of their coinage," he says.

Blog was coined in 1999 and entered into the dictionary in 2004, which was "a kind of record speed," Sokolowski points out. "And blog is a special case because it's naming something for which we had no name before."

Different dictionaries throughout the English-speaking world have different standards of inclusion, says Jesse Shiedlower, the New York-based editor-at-large of the OED. "I think you'll find that OED actually includes a lot of new words," he says. "OED, because of its size and scope, is more likely to include technical terms, or historical terms that wouldn't get into a more general dictionary, so in this case you could say that it's easier to get these words into OED."

Excerpted from TOASTMASTER Magazine, April 2013

The Defining Test For New Words by Patrick Mott

Also, if you have access to TOASTMASTER Magazine's April 2013 issue, check out the article titled Grammar Faux Pas Reconsidered by Jenny Baranick


STC Summit 2013

Check out details for the STC 2013 Summit in Atlanta, Ga!


SUMMIT


STC-PMC on the Internet

To access our job bank, join:

STC-PMC LinkedIn group

Also visit us at:

Facebook
Twitter


Edna P. Smith, Newsletter Editor

Thanks for all the happy times. I have enjoyed my time as Newsletter Editor. Good luck to the newbie and good luck with the chapter. 
Hotep, Ashe' [ah-SHAY],Namaste, & Peace,

Edna

Visit the STC-PMC Jobs Page
at LinkedIn
To View Current Job Opportunities