Tuesday, 25 May 2010


I don’t know if this is happening to everyone else, too, but I keep getting emails purporting to be a Call for Papers for a conference called ICT 2010, devoted to “Infocomm Technologies in Competitive Strategies”, due to be held in Singapore in October this year. I looked at the first one or two, but now just delete them as spam, unread. (Three came today.)
Looking at the conference website I am struck by the clumsy English it contains. Or is this just our old friend/enemy English as a Lingua Franca?
Innovation in the Infocomm Technologies have revolutionized the world and provided with a born-global platform that delivers rich information on every imaginable subject and enables the unprecedented integration of social information.
ICT Symposium would be held at the grandiose locale of the conference. The Symposium hall will have the latest state-of-the-art facilities conducive to the requirement standards of the national and international organizations participating in the Symposium.

“Innovation ... have revolutionized ... and provided with ...”? Come again? “Conducive to the requirement standards”? Sorry? We know that an inability to use accurate English is one of the characteristics of fraudulent spam.

I have no knowledge of “infocomm technologies” and no interest in the related “competitive strategies”, so I will not be attending this conference. But I have to ask whether it is really a wise “competitive strategy” for an academic conference to behave like a spammer.

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The biggest international phonetics conference is the four-yearly International Conference of Phonetic Sciences. The next ICPhS, following Barcelona in 2003 and Saarbrücken in 2007 (blog, 13 August 2007), will be held in Hong Kong in 2011. The dates are reportedly 16–20 August. Unlike ICT 2010, ICPhS 2011 has not yet provided any information (even such basic information as the conference venue) and has no website, or none that I can discover. I hope we shall soon get to see a Call for Papers. One, or perhaps two, but not three a day for week after week.


  1. I'm Singaporean and would say it is simply bad English. This sort of writing is in fact typical of people in business and technology here, who think they can impress with big words, clichés and gibberish.

  2. Conferencing Software is the latest in global communication. Its been hot for a while now but has just gone into another gear. Hundreds of companies and products based on conferencing are popping up all over the net. It takes a little getting use to trying to focus on the camera to engage your audiance properly but is way worth it compared to offline meetings. The costs you can save are huge.