RUR Cats


RUR Cats (Jerz’s Literacy Weblog)

My first (and probably only) contribution to the LOLCats meme.

In the 1920s, the Czech play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) introduced the world to a word that quickly displaced older terms such as “automaton.”

As author Karel Capek was working out the plot, he fretted that calling them “labori” would be too stuffy. His brother Josef, a cubist painter and author, muttered, “Then call them Robots,” drawing on a Czech word meaning “menial labor” or “servitude.”

The illustration is from a Josef Capek’s children’s book, A Doggie and a Pussycat: How They Wrote a Letter.

Okay, that was pretty obscure, but now I can get on with my life.