From NY Times: Seventy years ago, in 1940, a popular science maga­zine published a short article that set in motion one of the trendiest intel­lec­tual fads of the 20th century. At first glance, there seemed little about the article to augur its subse­quent celebrity. Neither the title, “Science and Linguis­tics,” nor the maga­zine, M.I.T.‘s Tech­nology Review, was most people’s idea of glamour. And the author, a chem­ical engi­neer who worked for an insur­ance company and moon­lighted as an anthro­pology lecturer at Yale Univer­sity, was an unlikely candi­date for inter­na­tional super­stardom. And yet Benjamin Lee Whorf let loose an alluring idea about language’s power over the mind, and his stir­ring prose seduced a whole gener­a­tion into believing that our mother tongue restricts what we are able to think. · Go to Does your language shape how you think? →