This essay begins by examining the rhetorical significance of the guillotine, an important symbol during the Romantic Period. Lacefield argues that the guillotine symbolized a range of modern ontological juxtapositions and antinomies during the period. Moreover, she argues that the guillotine influenced Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein through Giovanni Aldini, a scientist who experimented on guillotined corpses during the French Revolution and inspired Shelley’s characterization of Victor Frankenstein. Given the importance of the guillotine as a powerful metaphor for anxieties emergent during this period, Lacefield employs it as a clue signaling a labyrinth of modern meanings embedded in Shelley’s novel, as well as the films they anticipated. In particular, Lacefield analyzes the significance of the guillotine slice itself—the uneasy, indeterminate line that simultaneously separates and joins categories such as life/death, mind/body, spirit/matter, and nature/technology.
Lacefield’s interdisciplinary analysis analyzes motifs of decapitation/dismemberment in Frankenstein and then moves into a discussion of the novel’s exploration of the ontological categories specified above. For example, Frankenstein’s Creature, as a kind of cyborg, exists on the contested theoretical “slice” within a number of antinomies: nature/tech, human/inhuman (alive/dead), matter/spirit, etc. These are interesting juxtapositions that point to tensions within each set of categories, and Lacefield discusses the relevance of such dichotomies for questions of modernity posed by materialist theory and technological innovation. Additionally, she incorporates a discussion of films that fuse Shelley’s themes with appeals to twentieth-century and post-millennium audiences.
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This paper deals with terminology as a characteristic feature of the language used in science and technology. The lexical units in question serve the communication needs and demands of particular discourse communities, i.e., experts in different branches of science and specializations. Terminology precisely describes reality, carries specific information on the phenomena and relationships between them and helps to avoid shifts in meaning during the process of communication. In comparison with other spheres of life where shifts in meaning are common, in science and technology, changes in the information transferred are unacceptable and may lead to serious consequences. This paper focuses on various aspects and approaches to this part of the lexical system. Examples from the English language for Electrical Engineering and Communication Technologies provide an insight into different criteria for classifying units as terms, lexical patterns and semantic relationships between the individual constituents. Other features, qualities and functions of terminology, such as the stabilizing reality, interconnection between explicitness and implicitness or description of progress reflecting a unique attitude to reality are also discussed.