GB1900: Crowdsourcing placenames in Great Britain

Are you fascinated by placenames?  Do you have a weakness for tea, clotted cream, strawberry preserves, and homemade scones?  Have you ever thought how cool it would be to be a part of an international project to preserve the cultural history of Great Britain? If you answered “Yes”, then you will be happy to hear that volunteers are being solicited to help collect and preserve all of the names of places (yes, ALL) in Britain from the Ordnance Survey’s six-inch to the mile maps of the early 20th century.  Interested in learning more? Just follow this link!

By contributing to this project you’ll be helping to compile the most detailed list of historic places in Britain. It is intended that the GB 1900 gazetteer will form the backbone of a national collection of the country’s historic place-names, comprising everything from the earliest medieval records to the field-names still known to modern farming families. The names of places are a vital key to unlocking the social and linguistic history of the land. They recall agricultural practices and local industries, changed landscapes and lost settlements. They preserve a rich heritage of Welsh- and Gaelic-language forms from across Wales and Scotland, chart the arrival of English, and illustrate interactions between the two.

Carto Cymru: The Wales Map Symposium 2017, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, May 12, 2017

On the 12th of May 2017, the Welsh Map Symposium 2017 or “Carto Cymru” will be take place at the National Library of Wales.  The theme of this year’s event is “Measuring Meadows: The development of estate mapping and it value in portraying the historical landscape”.  All interested map lovers, names enthusiasts, and Welsh fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets soon.  Although the Symposium is still a few months away, spaces are filling up FAST.  Information on tickets and the scheduled programme can be found here.

This event is hosted by the National Library of Wales in partnership with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and the Institute for the Study of Welsh Estates, Bangor University. Talks on the day will include a talk on the history of estate mapping by Peter Barber, Ex-Head of Maps, British Library and “Cantrefi a Cymydau: Rediscovering the Medieval Boundaries of Wales for the Digital Age” by John Dollery & Scott Lloyd, Royal Commission.

Call for Papers: Pan-American International Symposium on Toponymy, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 3-5 2017

Registration has now opened for the Pan-American International Symposium on Toponymy.  This conference will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from the 3rd to the 5th of May 2017.  The deadline for abstract submission for interested presenters is the 1st of March 2017.  A special issue of the Brazilian Journal of Cartography will be published at the end of the conference.  Online conference registration information can be found here.

Three main themes will guide the event: Toponymy and education, Indigenous and minority Toponymy, Toponymy in maps. However, contributions on other themes may be accepted. The regional focus of the Symposium will be on the Americas, but also contributions focusing on countries, regions and places on other continents may be presented, since they may very well provide for stimulating comparisons. The languages of the Symposium will be Spanish, Portuguese, and English. Abstracts may be submitted in any of the three languages.

The conference is organized by the Joint IGU / ICA Commission on Toponymy, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), in cooperation with the Pan American Institute of Geography and History (PAIGH).

eLex 2017: Lexicography from Scratch, Leiden, Netherlands, Sept. 19-21 2017

The fifth biennial conference on electronic lexicography, eLex 2017, will take place in Holiday Inn Leiden, Netherlands, from 19-21 September 2017.

The conference aims to investigate state-of-the-art technologies and methods for automating the creation of dictionaries. Over the past two decades, advances in NLP techniques have enabled the automatic extraction of different kinds of lexicographic information from corpora and other (digital) resources. As a result, key lexicographic tasks, such as finding collocations, definitions, example sentences, translations, are more and more beginning to be transferred from humans to machines. Automating the creation of dictionaries is highly relevant, especially for under-resourced languages, where dictionaries need to be compiled from scratch and where the users cannot wait for years, often decades, for the dictionary to be “completed”. Key questions to be discussed are: What are the best practices for automatic data extraction, crowdsourcing and data visualisation? How far can we get with Lexicography from scratch and what is the role of the lexicographer in this process?

The meeting will be hosted by the Institute for Dutch Language (Instituut voor de Nederlandse Taal).

Starting with this year, the conference proceedings are going to be published by Lexical Computing CZ s.r.o., based on Botanická 68a, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic.

There can be only one Kylie™

Image: Shutterstock

If you want to protect a business name, you should trademark it. And that’s just what singer Kylie Minogue did in 2006, for the name “Kylie”. So when US reality TV star Kylie Jenner filed for the mark “Kylie” for her clothing and beauty empire, it was refused, because it would be too easy to confuse the two marks. Will Kylie Jenner’s appeal gain her any ground? Read the whole article here.

Call for Papers: Namen im Geheimen, University of Siegen, Germany, Sept. 11-12 2017

From the 11th to the 12th of September, the University of Siegen in Germany will be holding a special symposium dedicated to the topic of secret names or “Namen im Geheimen”. The event  is a part of the programme being offered during the 11th International Symposium on Special Linguistic Research. Researchers interested in participating in the symposium are asked to submit a 300 word abstract by the 1st of April 2017 to hardy at Presentations may be held in either English or German. You can read the complete call for papers here.

The Symposium is expressly designed to be cross-lingual. They welcome contributions from different philologies. For each lecture 40 minutes (30 minutes lecture + 10 minutes discussion) are planned. A publication is published in the CMS (special language research group) Hamburg / Münster.

Place Names Officer position at Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales is currently recruiting a new permanent full time member of staff to work on a new Welsh Place Names list for historic locations in Wales. The Welsh Ministers have asked the Commission to compile and maintain a list of historic place names in Wales, and the Place Names Officer will be a key part of this commitment. The successful candidate will be put in charge of compiling and maintaining the list. Further details on the Historic Place Names list and an application can be found at their website. Interested applicants who would like to learn more about the position and the project are asked to contact David Thomas, Head of Public Services: david.thomas at

The closing date for applications is Friday 3 March 2017 at 5pm.

Purpose of the List of Historic Place Names

The List of Historic Place Names will be an index of names given to, or held by, geographical locations identified from sources that predate the First World War. Drawing upon existing place name research, the List will incorporate the various forms and spellings used to record structures or places over time.

The purpose of the List is:

  • to provide easy access to a single centralised source of information on historic place names
  • to raise awareness of the value of historic place names
  • to inform decision makers

Trumpchi SUVs Coming Soon To U.S. – But Maybe Not Under That Name

An intrigued visitor checks out the Trumpchi GS7 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, January 20, 2017. Photo Credit: Jim Dunne

At Forbes, Michael Dunne writes about the next Chinese auto coming to the US: the Trumpchi SUV. It was was China’s fastest-growing car brand in 2016, scoring highest among all Chinese car brands. Officials at GAC, Guangzhou Automotive Corporation, insist privately that there is no connection to President Donald Trump. Chinese customers know the brand by its two Chinese characters, pronounced chuan chee. Those characters mean “delivering good fortune.” But will it have the same name in the U.S.? Head over to Forbes to get the whole story.

Is it Stash Tea or just a stash?

Founded in 1972, Stash Tea has suddenly become very busy defending their trademark. In Washington state, where recreational marijuana is legal, the word “stash” has been popping up in business names; not surprising, since “stash” has been a slang term for “hidden collection”, usually of some type of drugs, since the 1960s. In April in federal court in Portland, Stash Tea filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Stash Cannabis Co., and recently sent a notice of trademark infringement to the Stash Pot Shop in Seattle.

Read the whole article at the Oregonian. And, starting this week, Stash Pot Shop of Seattle is Lux Pot Shop of Seattle.