The English language is ever-evolving, and new words and meanings are created all the time.

This year has brought such an unusually vast range of new vocabulary that the Oxford English Dictionary has released two additional suites of amendments to its content.

Of the new words added, you could probably guess the definition of ‘denialism’, but how would you interpret ‘bumfle’ or ‘buzzer beater’? The Oxford English Dictionary will show you how well you did.

Avoiding those embarrassing moments

Most of us can recall an episode of cringe-worthy miscommunication which left us embarrassed, but what if it affected our business, our ability to do our jobs sufficiently and safely, or our profit margin? What if it left us vulnerable to liability and legal action?

Between the various codes, regulations and standards across the country there have arisen a number of different ways of describing the same or similar terms or processes, which makes it very confusing to understand and compare the legal requirements. It also makes it difficult for industry to operate across state and territory borders and for all levels of government to understand each other’s systems when working together at a national level.

A national dictionary of terms and definitions

Standards Australia, in partnership with the ABCB, has launched an online dictionary of terms for the building and plumbing industry to help avoid these situations.

This is the first stage of the project, which combines terms and definitions from the NCC, Australian Standards, joint Australian and New Zealand Standards, and Handbook 50:2004 Glossary of Building Terms. It aims to assist industry, government and consumers to understand the range of terminology used to describe the same or similar terms and processes across Australia.

The second stage of this work will involve expanding the sources included in the online dictionary content, including terminology used in state and territory building legislation. Standards Australia and the ABCB will continue to work collaboratively with state and territory regulators and the building and plumbing sector in the second stage of work, to refine and expand the dictionary.

The final piece of this project is the progressive development and consultation on ‘Preferred Terms’ to form a comprehensive list of preferred building and plumbing terminology for consideration and future adoption by jurisdictions.

In a year where uncertainty is the only certainty, and in which there appears a lack of clear and definitive information, the online dictionary of building terms will provide a welcome move in the right direction for the construction sector.

More information is available from the Standards Australia media release, or the NCC website.