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What is the difference if the order of words changed?



 
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What is the difference if the order of words changed? #1 (permalink) Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:17 am   What is the difference if the order of words changed?
 

Hello teachers,

I need your help. My question is that is there any difference if I change the order of words in the phrase "Department of art history and archeology". For example: is the meaning change if I change it into "Department of archeology and art history"? Why does the word "art history" stand before the word "archeology"? Does it mean "Art history" must be first then "Archeology"?

Thank you.
Maibui
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What is the difference if the order of words changed? #2 (permalink) Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:01 am   What is the difference if the order of words changed?
 

The order could be changed and grammatically there would be no problem. The choice of which to put first is down to the institution which runs that department. It is possible, for exaple, that they chose that order because they run an art history department before an archalolgy departmnent joined it, or because the focus is mainly on art history. On the other hand, they could have just decided it sounded better that way.
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What is the difference if the order of words changed? #3 (permalink) Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:04 am   What is the difference if the order of words changed?
 

Hi Maibui,

The word order in your example depends on whether you consider the two disciplines separately = art history and archaeology or whether you wish to link 'history' to both art and archeology = archaeology and art history.
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What is the difference if the order of words changed? #4 (permalink) Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:42 am   What is the difference if the order of words changed?
 

Hello Beeesneees and Alan,

Thank you for your answers.

I'd like to explain a little bit more about my question. The reason why I have this question is that in Vietnam, my country, there is a Department of Art Theory and History. In Vietnamese, the word "Theory" stands before the word "History", and I do not know why it is like that. Maybe when the department was built in 1978, someone translated the phrase from English or Russian into Vietnamese, but he or she just made it sound ok in Vietnamese, but not correctly as the order of words is in English. Because of this, an art critic has criticized that the phrase "Art Theory and History" was wrong. According to him, the word "History" must stand before the word "Theory" because "History" means "facts" and "theory" must base on facts. I see some truth in his comment, and I have searched on the internet to see how other universities in the world named the same department. Do you know what? When I look for the phrase "Department of Art History and Theory" on the internet, all departments start with the word "Art History" then "Theory" and then "Critism". For example, there are Department of Art History and Theory in University of Otago, Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism in The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Department of Art History and Film Studies in The University of Sydney, etc.

I have a thought that the order of words in the phrase shows the logic of subjects in the department. When the name of department is "Department of Art History and Theory", it means the order of subjects are firstly, the "Art History" then secondly, the "Art Theory". But I am not a native English speaker that is why I need your help to clarify that what word and what meaning goes first in the phrase "Department of Art History and Theory" in English.

With your answer, now I get it that in the phrase "Department of Art History and Theory" in English the "Art History" is the first, and then the "Art Theory" is the second.

Thank you!
Mai
Maibui
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