Got 4 out of 10.
Better than I thought I'd do.
Got 4 out of 10.
Better than I thought I'd do.
I was going to make a post listing some of the words that I've had to look up while reading David Foster Wallace.
Turns out I don't have to.
主潮 (しゅちょう）- prevailing ideology; dominant paradigm
澗 (たに；たにみず) - valley; a river that runs through a valley <-- had to use the Chinese character palette to find this one.
森羅万象 (しんらばんしょう） - all the myriad things in the limitless universe
衒学(的) (げんがくてき） - pedantic <-- you would think I would have run into this before...
Quinlan has posted his annual review of casio electronic dictionaries.
For the last few days I've been trying to figure something out. In Japanese, there are marks that are shorthand for repeat the last character(s). The character 「々」 is one. An example of its function is in the surname Sasaki, which is usually written 佐々木. Anyway, I got curious about the mark's name (if it has one) and have been querying people and the internet off and on. I've come to find out that the mark doesn't have a name per se but is called ｢同字点」dônojiten and is part of the group of characters used to similar purpose called 「踊り字」odoriji. The characters are sometimes referred to as かさね字, 畳字, or 繰り返し符号, but 踊り字 seems to be the official nomenclature. Inputting this character by computer (or cell phone for that matter) can be accomplished by typing「じおくり」 or 「おなじ」.
Feels good to have that monkey off my back.
I'm indebted to this conversation. <Japanese>
I had been told by someone at UMass that it was good to study kanji before bed and first thing in the morning.
I was religious about this practice for about a year and still believe in it. It seems that there is some research that suggests that napping after study can improve retention. Nice that the neuroscientist (Fishbein) conducting the study actually used chinese characters to test his hypotheses.
I think if I hear one more person use the phrases 'Wall Street' and 'Main Street' in the same sentence, I'm gonna scream. Are all the political experts, pundits, and newspeople really so unimaginative?
Somebody buy a thesaurus.
The Unofficial Apple Weblog announces next week's release of IKanji.
iKanji is a tool for anyone learning Japanese, and combines meaning, reading and writing training and tests. Over 2,000 Kanji characters and 20,000 example words are included. This is an app for advanced learners who already have a grasp of the hiragana and katakana characters (which are covered in Rory's existing iKana app).
The meanings test drills you on kanji meanings, randomly selecting kanji similar to the one in question to make the questions a little trickier.
The readings test displays 8 possible kanji readings (the reading type displayed is selectable) and you must identify all the readings for the kanji that are displayed.
The writing test shows you up to four variations on the stroke drawing for a given kanji and asks you choose the correct one.
I haven't tried this yet, but it seems like a useful and versatile study aid.
Literally 'the difference between cloud(s) and mud.'
Used to describe things that are very different from each other. Similar to the English 'apples and oranges.'
Literally 'To die on tatami.' This phrase means to die of old age or in a 'normal' fashion. I heard it in the negative (彼が)畳の上に死なない. 'He won't die on tatami.' It was used to describe someone who is considered by his friends to be a bit off and also likely to piss off the wrong person and therefore come to an ignominious end.
A talk that I think all you wordsmiths out there will find interesting.
Something has been bothering me and I'm curious to see what people think. If you saw
She apologized profusely that they couldn't come to the party, due to her husband being under the weather (read too drunk to drive).
would you pronounce it 'red' or 'read'?
In about an hour I'm off to take the test. I'm relatively confident that I can pick up the 2% that I missed it by last year and thence move on with my life. Of course, I won't get the results for a few months, but I'm hoping that I at least come out of it with a better feeling than last year.
Time for a languid bath and some food and then I'm out.
Mean (or bad) people flourish.
I found out a few months back that Adam Smith's concept of the Invisible Hand is translated into Japanese as 「神の手」.
A Jubako is a square-ish box, often multi-tiered that holds food. Sometimes that foodstuff is rice -- usually with something on top -- and the square construction makes getting the last grain out difficult. From this, there have come a few idioms having to do with detail.
Lit. 'Pick at the corners of a Jubako'
This expression is glossed as splitting hairs in my dictionary, but I don't think that it has the negative nuance that hairsplitting conjures for me.
Lit. 'Swipe at the corners of a Jubako with a (rice)ladle'
To do something sufficient to get the job done, without worrying about it being perfect.
Lit. 'Pick at the corner(s) of a Jubako with a toothpick.'
To stick one's nose into an affair. To meddle.
不知火型 (shiranu igata)
Shiranu igata is one of the ring-entering rituals performed by a yokozuna at a sumo tournament. It is named for the 8th Yokozuna: 不知火型右衛門 (shiranu igata uemon). Hakuho, after his second straight tournament championship yesterday, and on the cusp of his all-but-sure promotion to Yokozuna referenced this and I had no clue what he was talking about.
矜持 (矜恃)- kyouji or kinji
pride stemming from belief in one's abilities; pretense; ego
The first character has pride (or to be proud) as one of it's meanings, and the second character means to have/hold/possess.
It's pronounced INfluenced, not inFLUenced.
... and hell's comin' with me.
Turns out that I didn't pass the proficiency test. I scored a 275 (out of 400), but needed 280 to reach the 70% level which is a pass. Not so bad considering the rarefied nature of some of the stuff, but annoying to have gone through a full day of testing and not quite get there. Since I went in with very little studying, I'm going to devote and hour or so each week and shoot for 90+ next December.
An interesting and thoughtful post over at Language Log about how conservatives have come to own a particular rhetorical tool.
The subtitle [of his book] was adapted from the ad that the Club for Growth ran during the run-up to 2004 Iowa caucuses, when Howard Dean was still the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. An announcer asks a middle-aged couple leaving a barbershop what they think of "Howard Dean's plans to raise taxes on families by $1,900 a year." The man responds, "I think Howard Dean should take his tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading ..." -- and then his wife picks up the litany -- "... body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show back to Vermont, where it belongs."
Of course there's no intrinsic reason why the right should have a monopoly on those compounds. Back in the day, people played just as fast and loose with stereotypes in depicting poor white Southerners as cross-burning, Bible-thumping, sibling-shtupping primitives -- not just Northern liberals, but white-shoes Republicans and "genteel" Southerners, too. You still see this sort of thing coming from liberals from time to time -- writing in the Chicago Sun-Times just after the 2000 election, William O'Rourke described Bush's America as "Yahoo Nation":
It is a large, lopsided horseshoe, a twisted W, made up of primarily the Deep South and the vast, lowly populated upper-far-west states that are filled with vestiges of gun-loving, Ku-Klux-Klan sponsoring, formerly lynching-happy, survivalist-minded, hate-crime perpetrating, non-blue-blooded, rugged individualists� which contains not one primary center of intellectual or creative density.
But actually liberals rarely talk this way. On the Web, Volvo-driving liberal outnumbers pickup- or truck-driving conservative by around 50 to 1, and when you do encounter a phrase like beer-guzzling redneck it's almost always offered either as a conservative caricature of liberal speech or in the spirit of a reclaimed epithet (as in, "...and proud of it, son!" In fact the word redneck turns out about 20 times more likely to appear in the pages of National Review or The American Spectator than in The American Prospect or The Nation, almost always set in the mouth of some imaginary liberal.
Whatever they privately believe, most liberals know that this sort of culture-stereotyping is counter-productive for the left, not just because it puts them on the wrong side of the faux-populist divide, but because it excludes from consideration the bowtie-wearing, port-sipping Yalies who are sitting around the National Review office cooking this stuff up in the first place. And even when they restrict themselves to purely political attributes, liberals can't really use those cadences nowadays without implicitly acknowledging the right's ownership of them. In the course of praising the cleverness of the Club for Growth ad, for example, Kurtzman suggests that liberals might think of responding with an ad "telling Bush to take his deficit-creating, war-mongering, gas-guzzling, corporate criminal-coddling, election-stealing, Rush Limbaugh-listening, civil liberty-seizing, Bible-thumping, right-wing dictatorship back to Texas, where it belongs." But that comes off as nothing more than a strained tribute to the right's mastery of this syntax, in something like the way anti-war Democrats' "lie and die" seems to validate the right's "cut and run" as the basic pattern for Iraq War sloganeering.
The great rhetorical achievement of the right, as I argue in the book, is to have reformulated distinctions of class as bogus differences in consumer culture. So it makes sense that conservatives should seize on the object+participle construction, whose function to turn activities into attributes -- politically speaking, that is, you are what you do (or more accurately, what you drive, drink, or otherwise consume). Whereas when people on the left are of a mind to make sweeping generalizations, they tend to draw the distinction characterologically rather than culturally, which is why they favor extended bahuvrihi compounds like narrow-minded, hard-hearted, and mean-spirited.