Snake Serum and Dragon’s Blood for your skin

Snake Serum and Dragon’s Blood – not names you’d first associate with a high-end skincare range. When Maria Hatzistefanis decided after several years in business to give her beauty products more eye-catching names she knew it might be risky. It worked, though. Not only did the names create a talking point, they led to the products flying off the shelves. Hatzistefanis, 47, says a key ingredient used in her products, syn-ake peptide, replicates the reaction to a snake bite, resulting in a mild freeze-like effect in facial muscles. “One day, I brainstormed with my team and, as one of the ingredients mimicked the effect of snake venom I said, ‘let’s go crazy and see what happens’.

Click through to this article at the BBC News to read more about Hatzistefanis’ company, Rodial, and how it’s become so successful. 

Maori place names highlighted in interactive map of New Zealand

The language of place names creates a striking snapshot of New Zealand’s history. A new map, created by researchers at Te Punaha Matatini (a centre of research hosted by the University of Auckland) as well as Dragonfly Data Science, shows how Maori and English names are distributed on the North and South islands. The interactive map on the NZ Herald website is coloured based on whether the place name contains Māori or English. 

Kaitaia’s Te Hiku Media is running a project that aims to teach computers to speak and understand Te Reo Māori. They are developing tools to understand both written and spoken Te Reo. The development of an acoustic model for Te Reo Māori is being crowd-sourced. To build a reference of spoken Te Reo Te Hiku Media is asking Māori speakers use the website record themselves reading as little as ten sentences a day for a month.

25th LIPP Symposium: “Language Variation”, Munich, German, June 20-22 2018

From the 20th to the 22nd of June 2018, the 25th annual symposium organized by the Language of the Graduate School Language & Literature Munich at LMU Munich will be held in Munich, Germany. The theme of the conference is “Language Variation – Research, Models, and Perspectives”. Among those topics to be addressed include lexicography, dialectology, and identity.

The following keynote speakers have been invited and confirmed:

Prof. Dr. Stephan Elspaß (University of Salzburg)
Prof. Dr. Juan Manuel Hernández-Campoy (University of Murcia)
Prof. Dr. Daniel Schreier (University of Zurich)
Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Stark (University of Zurich)

For more information about the conference, please see the conference website.

ICONN4: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Onomastics available online

The Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Onomastics “Name and Naming” has been published online, as a downloadable PDF. It was edited by Oliviu Felecan.

The general topic was Sacred and Profane in Onomastics. The content is divided into the following categories:

Sacred and Profane in Anthroponymy
Sacred and Profane in Toponymy
Sacred and Profane in Names in Public Space (e.g., commercial names etc.)
Sacred and Profane in Literary Onomastics

Call for Papers: LELT (Linguistics, Education, Literature and Translation),

The Doctoral Student Conference (DSC) 2018 will hold a special track on Linguistics, Education, Literature and Translation, from the 9th to the 11th of May 2018 at CITY College, International Faculty of the University of Sheffield, Thessaloniki, Greece. They are looking for the latest research conducted by PhD students and young researchers on issues related to Linguistics, Language Teaching and Translation.The specific purpose of the conference is to give new researchers an opportunity to discuss their projects, receive detailed feedback from experts in the field, and participate in workshops. More information, and the call for papers, can be found at the website. The deadline for submissions is April 6, 2018.

Oxford Seminars in Cartography: Behind the Line: Frontline Geographies, Spatial Technologies and Mapping First World War Landscapes, Oxford, UK, May 10 2018

The Oxford Seminars in Cartography has announced its 25 annual programme of events for 2018. On May 10, 2018, Keith Lilley from Queen’s University Belfast will be presenting “Behind the Line: Frontline Geographies, Spatial Technologies and Mapping First World War Landscapes”. The event will be held at the Weston Library Lecture Theatre, in Oxford, UK. Booking is essential – for further details, please contact: Nick Millea [] The Oxford Seminars in Cartography is supported by a conglomerate of scholarly organizations such as the British Cartographic Society and the Oxford Cartographers.

Call for Papers: New Words and Linguistic Purism, Innsbruck, Austria, Oct 25-26 2018

The Department of Translation Studies, University of Innsbruck is seeking submissions for a conference titled “New Words and Linguistic Purism”, to be held in Innsbruck Austria, October 25-26 2018. New words are a frequent phenomenon. For linguistic purists they constitute a threat to the standard language. Of the three major sources of names for new concepts, borrowings are generally considered the strongest offense. Word formation is more acceptable, because it uses the proper devices of a language. The extension of the meaning of existing words is often not noticed as a change to the language. Different languages each have their own tradition as to which mechanisms are more or less acceptable in which circumstances. In translation, the absence of a word in the target language often requires the translator to choose a strategy along one of these lines, which can affect the acceptance of the target text. The call for papers can be found a the website. The deadline for abstracts is May 15, 2018.

CSSN: Canadian Society for the Study of Names, Toronto, Canada, May 26-27 2018

3061957824_c2b77fac23_mThe Canadian Society for the Study of Names (CSSN) / Société canadienne d’onomastique (SCO) will hold its annual meeting as part of the 52nd Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, May 26 – June 1, at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada. The congress theme is “Gathering Diversities”.

The study of names reveals examples of linguistic and social inventiveness in action, on historical, geographical, political or market concerns. Furthermore, the symbolic order to which names belong and their power to affect people make them fascinating, complex, and inexhaustible objects of study. The congress once again offers the opportunity to invite you cordially to join us on the quest for onomastic solutions for the future.

The preliminary program can be found here.

Call for Contributors: A pre-handbook on literary onomastics

A book project entitled “A pre-handbook on literary onomastics” is looking for contributors. The book is a project of Martyna Katarzyna Gibka, a literary onomastician. The purpose of the book to present theories, tools, their application, and ideas for theoretical development of this field as well as remarks of people who contributed to literary onomastic and literary translation onomastics in a practical way. Researchers who are interested in potentially contributing to this work are asked to complete an official application form, which can be found at Gibka’s website.

Contributors include:

Richard Coates (England)
Karina van Dalen-Oskam (the Netherlands)
Martyna Katarzyna Gibka (Poland)
Žaneta Dvořáková (Czech Republic)
Gilles Quentel (Brittany)

Conference: International Geographical Union (IGU), Moscow, Russia, June 4-6 2018

From the 4th to the 6th of June 2018, in Moscow, the International Geographical Union (IGU) will be holding an international thematic conference entitled “Practical Geography and XXI Century Challenges”. The conference will celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) – the largest and oldest geographical research organization in Russia. During this event, a special session will be held on the Use of Place Names in Public Space. The conference will be held in the buildings of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow’s historical center near the Moskva-river. The conference program includes scientific two-hour bus tour around Moscow. More information can be found at the conference website.