What's in a Word | All Blogs


Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto

By Debra Dobbins

      


“Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto
(Thank you very much oh Mr. Roboto
For doing the jobs that nobody wants to)”

Listening to “Mr. Roboto” released by the rock group Styx in 1983, we could easily assume that “robot” came into English from Japanese. If so, we’d be thousands of miles off the mark.

According to Wikipedia, the word comes from "robota meaning literally ‘serf labor,’ and, figuratively, ‘drudgery’ or ‘hard work’ in Czech, Slovak and Polish.”

Wikipedia further explains that an influential Czech writer made the word popular. Karel Capek used “robota” in his 1921 play R.U.R. (Russian Universal Robots). Wikipedia also notes that Capek gave credit for the word choice to his brother, Josef Capek, a painter and writer who eventually lost his life in a Nazi concentration camp.

For more about the Capeks and their choice of this word, go to http://www.capekbrothers.net/word_robot.htm.  For more on robot cars, see the print edition or the e-edition of The Daily Sentinel.

photo and signature of Karel Capek courtesy of Wikipedia.

COMMENTS

Please Login or Register to leave a comment.




Recent Posts
Her Countenance Alone
By Randee Bergen
Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cool carrot trick - try this if you’re gardening with kids
By Penny Stine
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Leftovers
By Julie Norman
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

From zed to z
By Debra Dobbins
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Frosty herbs
By Penny Stine
Tuesday, April 15, 2014


TOP JOBS
  • Project Analyst

      - Grand Jct, COComprehensive knowledge of principles, conc...

  • Repair Tech I

    The City of Glenwood Springs  Fleet Department is currently accepting

  • Casual Back Office Moa, Lpn, And Rn

    DOCS ON CALL a division of Primary Care Partners, has an opening for aCas...

  • Detailer

    Professional Detail JobNo experience necessary but is a bonus. Will t...

  • Maintenance

    SpringHill Suites by Marriottis seeking to fill aFull Time...





THE DAILY SENTINEL
734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050
Editions
Subscribe to print edition
E-edition
Advertisers
Sign in to your account
Information

© 2014 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy