“Academic Writing” – an Ironical Expression in the History of Culture

  • Cristinel Munteanu
Keywords: academic writing; Plato’s Academy; etymology; irony; ancient cultures


In this article I aim at analyzing the evolution of the terms academy and academic, starting with their etymology, in order to emphasize a bizarre cultural fact. Taking into account both their Greek origin and a sense of linguistic consciousness specific to some speakers, one could characterize the expression “academic writing” (referring to a certain discipline/course taught in our universities) as an ironical formula in the history of culture, since, originally, Plato’s Akademia and ‘writing’ in itself had nothing in common. On the contrary, Plato was against writing in general, as proved by some quotations excerpted from his works.


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Munteanu, Cristinel (2018). “Despre conştienţa lingvistică/On Linguistic Consciousness”, în Valentina Cojocaru et alii (eds.). Variaţie în română şi în limbile romanice. Actele celui de-al XVII-lea Colocviu Internaţional al Departamentului de Lingvistică (Bucureşti, 24-25 noiembrie 2017)/Variation in Romanian and in the Romance Languages. The Proceedings of the 17th International Colloquium of the Department of Linguistics (Bucharest, 24-25 of November 2017). Bucureşti: Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti, pp. 325-329.
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Plato (1966). Plato in Twelve Volumes, Vol. 7 translated by R.G. Bury. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; London: William Heinemann Ltd.