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Etymology: The DNA of Words

The word “etymology” comes from the Latin word “etymologĭa” and also the Greek word “ἐτυμολογία,” which is composed of “ἔτυμος étimos” (true sense”), and “λογία” (“the study of”). Therefore, etymology is the study of the meaning of words, or parts thereof. For example, Latin and Greek are two “heavyweights,” as they are the source of […]

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Is Music a language?

The other night I was listening to a version of Eleanor Rigby by the talented Uruguayan musician Leo Masliah. This particular version has got so many variations and modulations (changes of key) that at one point I realized that there was no way he could know the whole thing by heart. Of course, he writes […]

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Machine Translation

A delightful example illustrates well one of the earliest myths about the problems that may arise when trying to translate text using a computer. The biblical sentence “The spirit is willing, the flesh is weak” was translated into Russian by a machine, and then back into English. The result was “The vodka is good, but […]

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