It is a term that comes from the Italian graffiti, plural of graffito, which means ‘mark or inscription made by scraping or scratching a wall’ and in the same way archaeologists and epigraphers call the spontaneous inscriptions that have remained on the walls since Roman times. Archaeologist Raffaele Garrucci reported the term in international academic circles in the mid-nineteenth century, 6 the neologism became popular and passed into colloquial English when used in New York newspapers in the 1970s.
By the influence of the American culture, the term was popularized in other languages, among them the Castilian. Curiously, although the term graffiti has passed into many languages, in Italian the term of English writing is used to refer to the Hip-Hop style graffiti, since they use the term graffiti for use in the original sense. Among Spanish speakers it is common to hear graffiti in the plural, because although in the language of origin the term is already plural, it is not considered in this way the cap.
The Pan-Hispanic dictionary of doubts of the Spanish Royal Academy recommends the use of the word graphite. It accepts as valid the use of graffiti in the singular, and of graffiti in the plural, although it recommends to use the word “graphite” and “graphite” for its plural, which are the Spanish versions of graffiti and graffiti, respectively. It also recommends that, in the case of a text or drawing painted and not scraped or incised, the term “painted” is used. Still accepting the graffiti castillanización to “grafiti”, it is recommended to avoid the use of graffiti, since in Spanish the graph does not exist “ff”.
The custom of writing your own name in public properties and places is ancient. In archeology the term “graphite” or graffiti (from Italian) is used to refer to this type of inscriptions made on walls, usually stuccoed, as well as scratched signs on ceramics (usually to mark the property). It does not refer to those made by the author of a monument, but to those made later by the author of a monument. For example, the walls of dungeons and prisons show the messages, drawings and calendars made by prisoners.
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