Six Tuscan Poets, by Giorgio Vasari, 1544.

Six Tuscan Poets, by Giorgio Vasari, 1544. Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota.

Communication

Volume V, Number 2 | spring 2012

Preamble

Word Order

By Lewis H. Lapham

The Internet is blessed with undoubtedly miraculous applications, but language is not yet one of them. Technology cannot displace the primacy of words.

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Word for Word

By Ben Zimmer

Peter Mark Roget’s Thesaurus was the creation of an obsessive list-maker that became a tool and a temptation for generations of writers.

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Miscellany

During the rule of Charlemagne in the late eighth and early ninth centuries, the Carolingian Renaissance saw the revival of Latin studies, the creation of a royal scriptorium, Alcuin’s revision of the Vulgate Bible, and the advent of a minuscule (lowercase) writing system, which eased the labor of copying. Charlemagne himself, however, could barely write a word in any language.

Man is the one name belonging to every nation upon earth: there is one soul and many tongues, one spirit and various sounds; every country has its own speech, but the subjects of speech are common to all.

—Tertullian, c. 217

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The Colosseum, attributed to Robert Eaton, c. 1855.
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DÉjÀ Vu

Monumental Mistakes

2023:

Fitness instructor carves his girlfriend’s name into the Colosseum.

c. 1850:

Thompson of Sunderland makes his mark on Pompey’s pillar.

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