Modern nationalism swept Europe alongside the flourishing of industrialisation. Across the continent, poets and intellectuals cultivated and often heavily modified vernacular languages to be bearers of 19th century modernity. These guardians of language faced significant challenges in adapting the spoken tongues of the peasantry to the demands of high literature and natural science. The story for the arts is widely known: modern Hungarian, Czech, Italian, Hebrew, Polish and other literatures blossomed in the second half of the century. However, the high valuation for efficiency in the sciences somewhat tamed this incipient Babel ["Absolute English," , February 4, 2015].