Language and Change

  • Benjamin Ward


One of the clichés of our time has it that the United States is playing Rome to Europe’s Greece. There is considerable truth to this cliché. Intellectually speaking, the United States was still rather provincial in 1930. In the nineteenth century there were probably fewer great intellects in the United States than in Czarist Russia, and the derivative nature of our intellectual life was only beginning to change in a few fields by the onset of the Depression. Centering around the German-Jewish emigration of the 30’s a new tradition was established, now known as the brain drain, by which American academia was able to use its vast resources to skim off a great deal of Europe’s intellectual cream. This has been tremendously stimulating to the host institutions, but forty years later one is still struck by the high percentage of leading scholars in many fields who acquired their education, and with it many primary elements in their world-views, in Europe. The United States has become the research center of the world, but perhaps not the idea center.1


Deep Structure Machine Translation Mutual Understanding Brain Drain Scientific Text 
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© Basic Books, Inc. 1972

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  • Benjamin Ward

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