Recent Blog Posts

With all of the coverage about the online publication of the Codex Sinaiticus, the oldest complete copy of the New Testament (it dates to the 4th century and is written in Greek), I thought it would be fun to highlight another Biblical scholastic first: the handwritten Scots Language Bible. First, […]

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What do you think of when you hear the words “Family Production Responsibility System”? What? It doesn’t bring to mind carefully tended rows of corn, beans, and tomatoes? Acres of wheat, rice, and soybeans? Chickens running around a dusty side yard? I don’t think so either, but apparently the Chinese […]

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Obama’s two-day visit to Russia has generated a lot of press these past few days. His trip focused on rebuilding relations with Russia by discussing a new trade partnership, missile security, and global affairs. The latter two were more successful topics, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and President Obama signed an […]

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A couple of days ago B.J. Epstein posted this quotation by Samuel Johnson: Poetry, indeed, cannot be translated; and, therefore, it is the poets that preserve the languages; for we would not be at the trouble to learn a language if we could have all that is written in it […]

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If you tuned in yesterday to coverage of Stage 2 of the Tour de France you might have heard a commentator shout out that Mark Cavendish, the Manx Express, had blitzed across the finish line. If you’re like me, the nickname drew a blank. The only word I associate with […]

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With the 2009 Tour de France gearing up for its start on Saturday I can’t help but question—beyond lodging, food, and transportation for all of the teams, media, organizers, and fans—what the language logistics of the race must be like. Since its beginning in 1903, the Tour de France has […]

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Ben Zimmer’s discovery last week of the first usage of the term Ms. in America sparked my interest. Zimmer found the term in the November 10, 1901 Springfield (Mass.) Sunday Republican under the heading Men, Women and Affairs. In the article, the writer attempts to fill “a void in the […]

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