BIK Terminology—

Solving the terminology puzzle, one posting at a time

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    Barbara Inge Karsch - Terminology Consulting and Training

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How do I identify a term—novelty

Posted by Barbara Inge Karsch on June 28, 2010

In the posting for frequency and distribution, the focus was on automated term extraction output. Today’s criterion for term selection will pertain more often to manual term extraction. For consistency sake, we call it novelty to go along with all the other nouns (terminologization, specialization, confusability, frequency and distribution). But it simply refers to terms that are new and should be added to a terminology database for that reason.

In the manual term extraction process a writer or editor documents terms while authoring material. They can do this either in a separate list or directly in the terminology database, depending on their working style, the need for immediate availability of the terms, their rights in the terminology tool, etc. Many of the terms documented this way will meet the criterion “novelty.” In a less strict sense of the word, novelties or “new terms” can also be the focus of a term extraction program. These programs can be set up to only extract terms that have not come up or been documented so far. The difference is that the human can evaluate right away which term really stands for an innovative concept, while the machine will only exclude what is already documented elsewhere.

Most of us remember that with Office 2007 the ribbon was introduced. While the name of this new tabbed command bar does not show up in text all that often, it was new and would have been hard to name in other languages had it not been documented in a terminology entry.





If the answer to the question “is this a new term representing a new concept?” is yes, do make an entry in the terminology database. Especially in environments where terminology management has been common practice and there is no need to document legacy terminology, most terms added to the database meet this criterion. Stay tuned for the posting on term selection and visibility.


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