One state, many tongues

According to the 1st-century CE biographer Plutarch, the last few seconds of Julius Caesar’s life were a snapshot of bilingualism. When Publius Casca, one of the conspirators, raised the first dagger in the Senate, Caesar stopped him, shouting in Latin: ‘What are you doing?’ Terrified, Casca is said to have exclaimed in Greek: ‘Brothers, help!’….

To put your quill where your mouth is

Each one of us is an archeologist, a witness, active or passive, of the history of the material and immaterial culture around us. We don’t have to be academically-minded grave-diggers or shovel-wielding students of antiquity to exercise our archeological sense. An archeologist is someone who understands that he or she is surrounded by ghosts, and…

Language acquisition

It has often been said that the childhood is a creation of the modern period. Indeed, ancient and medieval sources occlude discussions of the first age of the human individual, the baby and toddler years. Premodern representations of children emphasise size, rather than any other features, to designate youngsters. From the baby in the cradle…

Leaving our bodies behind

Digital communication is one of the technologies which has changed our world in a fundamental way. Like electricity, the automobile and pharmaceuticals, it makes us ask hard questions about ourselves. It is a blanket term for an ever-increasing array of communication tools, modes and styles which run interpersonal communication through digital code. And most of…

No, da ce iaște plagiatul?

Ultimele peripeții ale noului guvern au scos la iveală o problemă la care puțini mai stau să se gândească în mijlocul atâtor preocupări, distracțiuni şi urgențe (ministeriale): ce ne repugnă la ideea de plagiat? Imoralitatea lui? Tradarea concordanței presupuse dintre viața privată-intelectuală-publică? Întâi madama Corina Dumitrescu a primit stigmatul plagiatului, pe urmă conu Ioan Mang….

Ce se întâmplă când absolvi

O persoană tare dragă mie este pe punctul de a absolvi o anume universitate, motiv pentru care am început să mă întreb cum de ajung studenții să absolve, în chip etimologic, o instituție de învățământ superior. De ce limba română foloseşte verbul a absolvi cu acest sens? Cu toții știm că “a absolvi” mai inseamnă…