full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Jessica Oreck and Rachael Teel: Mysteries of vernacular Robot

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Mysteries of vernacular: Robot, a machine caalpbe of carrying out a programmable series of actions. The origin of the word robot dates back more than a tuahonsd years to the era of serfdom in central Europe when servitude was the currency for rent. In those days, the Old Church Slavonic word rtaoba described the forced labor of the people. A siglht adjustment of spelling, and rabota became the Czech robota, which, in addition to defining the toil of the serfs, was also used figuratively to describe any kind of hard work or drudgery. In 1920, Czech writer Karel Capek published a scecnie fiction play called "R.U.R.", short for "Rossum's Universal Robots." The story featured automated machines with distinctly hmaun features that, until they revolt, cretaed to the whims of the people of Earth. cepak originally considered calling these hard-working machines labori from the Latin word for labor, but he werroid it sounded a bit too scholarly. He opted, instead, to epmazishe their enslaved state by naming them roboti, or robot in eglisnh. "R.U.R." was wildly ssefuuccsl, and when it was tratalnsed into English in 1923, the word robot was enlisusithalctay embraced. Though most of today's robots look quite different than Capek imgienad, they've become just as popular as he predicted. Unlike in "R.U.R.", though, our robots haven't risen up against us, and here's hoping it stays that way!

Open Cloze

Mysteries of vernacular: Robot, a machine _______ of carrying out a programmable series of actions. The origin of the word robot dates back more than a ________ years to the era of serfdom in central Europe when servitude was the currency for rent. In those days, the Old Church Slavonic word ______ described the forced labor of the people. A ______ adjustment of spelling, and rabota became the Czech robota, which, in addition to defining the toil of the serfs, was also used figuratively to describe any kind of hard work or drudgery. In 1920, Czech writer Karel Capek published a _______ fiction play called "R.U.R.", short for "Rossum's Universal Robots." The story featured automated machines with distinctly _____ features that, until they revolt, _______ to the whims of the people of Earth. _____ originally considered calling these hard-working machines labori from the Latin word for labor, but he _______ it sounded a bit too scholarly. He opted, instead, to _________ their enslaved state by naming them roboti, or robot in _______. "R.U.R." was wildly __________, and when it was __________ into English in 1923, the word robot was ________________ embraced. Though most of today's robots look quite different than Capek ________, they've become just as popular as he predicted. Unlike in "R.U.R.", though, our robots haven't risen up against us, and here's hoping it stays that way!

Solution

  1. science
  2. rabota
  3. emphasize
  4. english
  5. worried
  6. translated
  7. catered
  8. enthusiastically
  9. slight
  10. human
  11. thousand
  12. imagined
  13. capable
  14. capek
  15. successful

Original Text

Mysteries of vernacular: Robot, a machine capable of carrying out a programmable series of actions. The origin of the word robot dates back more than a thousand years to the era of serfdom in central Europe when servitude was the currency for rent. In those days, the Old Church Slavonic word rabota described the forced labor of the people. A slight adjustment of spelling, and rabota became the Czech robota, which, in addition to defining the toil of the serfs, was also used figuratively to describe any kind of hard work or drudgery. In 1920, Czech writer Karel Capek published a science fiction play called "R.U.R.", short for "Rossum's Universal Robots." The story featured automated machines with distinctly human features that, until they revolt, catered to the whims of the people of Earth. Capek originally considered calling these hard-working machines labori from the Latin word for labor, but he worried it sounded a bit too scholarly. He opted, instead, to emphasize their enslaved state by naming them roboti, or robot in English. "R.U.R." was wildly successful, and when it was translated into English in 1923, the word robot was enthusiastically embraced. Though most of today's robots look quite different than Capek imagined, they've become just as popular as he predicted. Unlike in "R.U.R.", though, our robots haven't risen up against us, and here's hoping it stays that way!

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
word robot 2

Important Words

  1. actions
  2. addition
  3. adjustment
  4. automated
  5. bit
  6. called
  7. calling
  8. capable
  9. capek
  10. carrying
  11. catered
  12. central
  13. church
  14. considered
  15. currency
  16. czech
  17. dates
  18. days
  19. defining
  20. describe
  21. distinctly
  22. drudgery
  23. earth
  24. embraced
  25. emphasize
  26. english
  27. enslaved
  28. enthusiastically
  29. era
  30. europe
  31. featured
  32. features
  33. fiction
  34. figuratively
  35. forced
  36. hard
  37. hoping
  38. human
  39. imagined
  40. karel
  41. kind
  42. labor
  43. labori
  44. latin
  45. machine
  46. machines
  47. mysteries
  48. naming
  49. opted
  50. origin
  51. originally
  52. people
  53. play
  54. popular
  55. predicted
  56. programmable
  57. published
  58. rabota
  59. rent
  60. revolt
  61. risen
  62. robot
  63. robota
  64. roboti
  65. robots
  66. scholarly
  67. science
  68. serfdom
  69. serfs
  70. series
  71. servitude
  72. short
  73. slavonic
  74. slight
  75. sounded
  76. spelling
  77. state
  78. stays
  79. story
  80. successful
  81. thousand
  82. toil
  83. translated
  84. universal
  85. whims
  86. wildly
  87. word
  88. work
  89. worried
  90. writer
  91. years