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Showing posts from October, 2014

The Story of Language: From Socrates to the Enlightenment

The Divine Reason of Speech: Classical Theories of Language
From the very earliest days of classical history, language was recognised as perhaps the most singularly significant factor which defined human beings as distinct from the animal kingdom.  The Greek rhetorician Isocrates (436-338 bc) argued:
In most of out abilities we differ not at all from the animals; we are in fact behind many in swiftness and strength and other resources.  But because there is born in us the power to persuade each other and to show ourselves whatever we wish, we not only have escaped from living as brutes, but also by coming together have founded cities and set up laws and invented arts, and speech has helped us attain practically all of the things we have devised.  For it is speech that has made laws about justice and injustice and honor and disgrace, without which provisions we should not be able to live together.  By speech we refute the wicked and praise the good.  By speech we educate the ignorant an…

Publishing a magazine with no money and little time? No worries!

Rather shockingly the other week, a former colleague asked expectedly where all my research was?  When faced with an incredulous expression, he explained that since I no longer appeared to be blogging, he simply assumed I was spending all my time researching.

So, in order to avoid similar scurrilous accusations I have dug around the Apps folder and dusted off the 'ole 'Blogger' button.

One of the schemes that has been keeping me busy has been my plan to develop a magazine that can publish student work, and provide a resource that helps under- and post-graduates remain engaged with their course and with their institution.  This has been something I have wanted to do for some time, but having some experience of journalism I was very tentative to start something that I knew I would not have the time to continue.

This is a real issue, I expect, for most of us.

It is great when we have ideas and schemes which we really think would benefit the students - but the reality is tha…