Today in NC State History: Professor gives words to the wise

May 14, 2014
By Chris Saunders

historyIconNC State has made significant contributions to many fields, from engineering to agriculture. But it’s not often that the university is celebrated for its efforts in shaping language.

But that’s what happened on this day in 1954 when The Technician reported that L.E. Hinkle, head of the Department of Modern Languages, was named as a consultant for Encyclopedia Britannica’s world language dictionary.

L.E. Hinkle

L.E. Hinkle

Encyclopedia Britannica’s goal with the dictionary was to aid Americans in speaking six foreign languages: French, German, Spanish, Italian, Swedish and Yiddish.

Hinkle was an authority in all six, as well as director of NC State’s translation service.

“The United States has come up against language difficulties quite acutely since itĀ finds itself a world leader,” Hinkle said. “Up until recently, we have been deficient in our language knowledge which has hampered us a great deal.

“This is an effort to counteract this deficiency.”


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