Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Jews as a universal language?

"They are, indeed, so disseminated through all the trading Parts of the world that they are become the Instruments by which the most distant Nations converse with one another, and by which Mankind are knit together in general Correspondence. They are like the Pegs and Nails in a great Building, which, though they are but little valued in themselves, are absolutely necessary to keep the whole Frame together."

from a 1712 article by Joseph Addison in The Spectator, which he founded and edited. Addison went on to ban drinking on the Tube.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Quiz! True or false? - Tolstoy wrote for the first ever Esperanto journal.


The first ever Esperanto journal, a monthly entitled La Esperantisto, was founded in Nuremberg in 1889, supervised by the inventor of Esperanto himself, Ludwig Zamenhof. "This journal continued to appear on a regular basis, despite financial difficulties, until 1895 when it included an article by Leo Tolstoy on 'Reason and belief', to which the Russian censors took exception. The ban imposed on La Esperantisto throughout the Tsarist empire cost the journal nearly three-quarters of its readership. (Esperanto publications were not again allowed in Russia until after the 1905 Revolution.)"

from The Artificial Language Movement by Andrew Large