I am very poorly today and very stupid and hate everybody and everything.
From the Jetsons to the Terminator, robots have come to represent both cutesy helpers and dangerous assassins leading to the fall of the human race. Get a rundown on the origins of this loaded word in our sixth tech fact:
Tech Fact #6: Czech writer Karel Čapek invented the word “robot” in his 1920 play, R.U.R, which stood for Rossum’s Universal Robots. “Robot” stems from the Czech word for “work,” and it was the first word to describe the concept of an artificial person. In the play, one of the human characters states that once you have a robot, “you will be free and supreme; you will have no other task, no other work, no other cares than to perfect your own being.”
Continue your tech trivia game with last week’s installment.
Wasn’t it coming from Russian? (Or so I’ve heard… According to what I heard that was already in the middle ages…?)
(Either way a Slavic Language, or am I wrong there?)
Well, the verb работать (rabotat’, Russian) / robotit (Czech) existed in the Slavic languages before, of course. But it is quite undisputed that Čapek invented the word robot. However, the concept of a more or less human-like intelligent machine doing work is older and may well be medieval.
Also good to know, in R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), the “robots” are more like what we’d today call an “android”— they’re in no sense what we’d think of as a “machine” but are instead indistinguishable from humans, which is an important point for the story, which is a basic allegory for workers’ rights and ends-justify-the-means exploitation. Here’s a PDF of the text.
To the untrained ear, the letter t would seem pretty straightforward. Except for the embarrassment of pronouncing an occasional silent one—when, say, you chanced to read buffet or croquet before hearing them aloud—you probably haven’t thought much about t since the days of Sesame Street. As a consonant, after all,…
Lexical & Structural Ambiguity.
Time flies like an arrow (Time = noun; flies = verb; like = preposition)
Fruit flies like a banana (Fruit = adj; flies = noun; like = verb)
Time flies like an arrow (Time = adj; flies = noun; like = verb)
Lexical Ambiguity ~ Homophony
Ship shipping ships.