full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Gregory Heyworth: How I'm discovering the secrets of ancient texts

Unscramble the Blue Letters

So, spectral imaging can recover lost ttexs. More sutbly, though, it can recover a second story behind every object, the story of how, when and by whom a text was created, and, sometimes, what the ahtuor was thinking at the time he wtore. Take, for example, a dfrat of the Declaration of Independence written in Thomas Jefferson's own hand, which some colleagues of mine imaged a few years ago at the Library of Congress. Curators had noticed that one word throughout had been scratched out and overwritten. The word overwritten was "citizens." Perhaps you can guess what the word underneath was. "Subjects." There, laeids and gentlemen, is American dcoraecmy evolving under the hand of Thomas Jefferson.

Open Cloze

So, spectral imaging can recover lost _____. More ______, though, it can recover a second story behind every object, the story of how, when and by whom a text was created, and, sometimes, what the ______ was thinking at the time he _____. Take, for example, a _____ of the Declaration of Independence written in Thomas Jefferson's own hand, which some colleagues of mine imaged a few years ago at the Library of Congress. Curators had noticed that one word throughout had been scratched out and overwritten. The word overwritten was "citizens." Perhaps you can guess what the word underneath was. "Subjects." There, ______ and gentlemen, is American _________ evolving under the hand of Thomas Jefferson.

Solution

  1. wrote
  2. texts
  3. democracy
  4. draft
  5. ladies
  6. subtly
  7. author

Original Text

So, spectral imaging can recover lost texts. More subtly, though, it can recover a second story behind every object, the story of how, when and by whom a text was created, and, sometimes, what the author was thinking at the time he wrote. Take, for example, a draft of the Declaration of Independence written in Thomas Jefferson's own hand, which some colleagues of mine imaged a few years ago at the Library of Congress. Curators had noticed that one word throughout had been scratched out and overwritten. The word overwritten was "citizens." Perhaps you can guess what the word underneath was. "Subjects." There, ladies and gentlemen, is American democracy evolving under the hand of Thomas Jefferson.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
multispectral imaging 5
multispectral light 2
dead sea 2
oldest book 2

Important Words

  1. american
  2. author
  3. colleagues
  4. congress
  5. created
  6. curators
  7. declaration
  8. democracy
  9. draft
  10. evolving
  11. gentlemen
  12. guess
  13. hand
  14. imaged
  15. imaging
  16. independence
  17. jefferson
  18. ladies
  19. library
  20. lost
  21. noticed
  22. object
  23. overwritten
  24. recover
  25. scratched
  26. spectral
  27. story
  28. subtly
  29. text
  30. texts
  31. thinking
  32. thomas
  33. time
  34. word
  35. written
  36. wrote
  37. years