Oldy but baddy: bad omics word of the day – "speechome"

I know I swore to quit but I could not help myself here. I was going through old draft blog posts that I never finished and found this link to an article about the “Human Speechome Project” BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | Big brother untangles baby babble

Basically, the idea is they are recording everything a particular child hears and says and categorizing it all to create “the Human Speechome project

“Just as the Human Genome Project illuminates the innate genetic code that shapes us, the Speechome Project is an important first step toward creating a map of how the environment shapes human development and learning,” said Frank Moss, the director of MIT’s Media Lab at the time.

In some ways – the project is eerily fascinating. But in many ways it is more on the creepy side of things. Regardless of whether one likes the project or not, the word “speechome” has just got to go. So, quite a few months late – I am still giving this my “Bad Omics Word of the Day” award.

Author: Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. (see my lab site here). My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis

One thought on “Oldy but baddy: bad omics word of the day – "speechome"”

  1. So, in other words, 'phonetic inventory'?

    I wonder if phonologists are aware they need a special new term for such a fundamental concept…

    Or wait…it's worse…they're calling a child's lexicon a 'speechome'? That's just wrong…!


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