I was all set to blog about “Semasiology,” a truly mind-expanding IT Conversations podcast from OSCON 2005, when I noted (via my Bloglines reader) that Hugh Blackmer of the always rewarding “oook blog” had beat me to it. So now my pleasure is doubled, as I get to point you to the podcast and to Hugh’s great blog. In addition to his characteristically smart and thoughtful commentary, Hugh has also provided some key snippets from the podcast to pique your interest.
Sometimes, things work out.
And what is semasiology? In the podcast, it’s defined as the study of the way words change their meaning over time. In this case, the specific word is actually the infinitive “to read.” I confess I like this definition from Princeton’s Word Net even better: “cognitive semantics: the branch of semantics that studies the cognitive aspects of meaning.”
EDIT: Almost forgot to mention that the speaker sounds like a cross between Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s “Q” and Tom Lehrer. Most entertaining.