August 10th, 2016

gold hisui from rasetsunyo

Language

I suppose I must join 1word1day. I know some of the words, including yesterday's one, apogee. We have a kid who says something very close to that all the time. His dad actually called us once to ask what K was asking for when he kept saying abogee and pointing to the fridge. We still don't know. It's not apple juice because he never gets apple juice. It's now distinguished from milk and water and cracker. I think it means 'that thing I want that might appear if I ask for it enough.' (This is a common and frustrating phenomenon. Kids will point to a shelf, and even though we offer them everything on the shelf, they reject it all and continue to point with increasing insistence and wails, hoping that we will make the phantom Whatever magically appear, since we make everything else magically appear. Tell you, sometimes it's hard being God.)

But I actually wanted to link to Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day. Uhtcearu - n., (obs.) lying awake worrying before dawn.

"...to break that down to its Old English components, uht(a) is the last hour of the night, just before dawn, and caeru is the ancestor of care in the sense of concern, which at the time had added meanings of anxiety/sorrow. This is used (in surviving records) only once in Old English, which makes it a hapax legomenon, but has been reappearing in word lists of interesting forgotten words in its nominative plural form, uhtceare."

Old English poetry likes to stick words together to express lovely ideas. Like its descendent German, but not nearly as thumpingly.
ima ichiko shikigami

Reading Wednesday as ever

Finished in the last week?
A string of slim volumes from the boulevard, the shelves, and Honto:

Brucker, Giovanni and Lusanna- Love and Marriage in Renaissance Florence
- a history, disentangled from a notary's dry records, of a widow suing the man who married her in secret and then denied it to marry someone richer.

Carrison & Chhean, Cambodian Folk Stories from the Gatiloke
- Cambodian Buddhist tales with occasional very unmoral endings. 'Oh but in Buddhism you never get away with anything, it all comes back to you in your next life'. Small consolation for defrauded relatives and shopkeepers.

Lin, Famous Chinese Short Stories
- retold for westerners with happi endo where I suspect there was none. Not sure if traditional Chinese thought agrees with Lin Yutang's dismissal of the hero of The Western Chamber as 'in American terms, a heel' but they should. Just as Giovanni up there is a heel too. And finally I have a Chinese mainland book for the book challenge.

Ima Ichiko, Phantom Moon Tower 4.
- old friends from far away. Obscure as ever, but perversely satisfying. Chewy summer reading.

Currently?
Shall continue on with Four Roads Cross, also satisfying and not to be rushed.

And next?
Latest 100 Demons finally showed up today, so I don't have to reorder it.

And maybe will get to Last First Snow and reread Full Fathom Five now I have the in-between parts filled in.