mjj (flemmings) wrote,

The crack of dawn

And there are people who advocate getting rid of daylight savings? Madness. That would have the sun rise at 4:30 this time of year, which means I'd be up at 4. You know who gets up at 4? Tofu makers. No one else should be awake at that hour except the insomniacs like me who're about to go to bed.

Three days in a row awake before 6, two of them at 5 am. Awake. Unable to get back to sleep because my body says "Light! Look there's *light* in the east! The birds are singing! It's morning!!" Ohh for the wintertime when 5 am was the middle of the night and I got more than 5 or 6 hours rest (it doesn't have to be sleep-- an hour or two's float in the dark will do just as well.) And my eyes weren't too tired to read Japanese the rest of the day.

Because when I'm not too tired to read I can divert myself with these websites, so much more satisfying than fandom_wank or The Star:

The most common Chinese characters,
which is fun, borked pronunciation apart. I'm not trying to pronounce. I'm trying to read subtitles.

Chatty rooster's dictionary of Singlish
Certain sample sentences have the marvellous impenetrability of discussions of orthodox Jewish usage. 'Eh, if you do’wan to kena arrow, then you better tactical and take cover a bit, skarly the ossifer catch you then you kena.' Compare with: 'What is the bracha on the tallis gadol? On the tallis katan? Do we make brachot on both? What if the tallis katan is donned before sunrise?'
Or Lowland Scots:

Aw richts is pitten by. Nae pairt o this darg shuid be doobelt, hained in ony kin o seestem, or furthset in ony shape or by ony gate whitsomeiver, athoot haein leave frae the writer afore-haund.

A hae nae pleens whan the abuin is duin for tae fordle the Scots leid in eddication, sae lang's naebody is makkin siller oot o't. Ony speirins write us.

Only that the Scots makes sense to me. I knew all those undergrad tears I shed over Piers Plowman weren't wasted. But it reminds me of Alan Garner reading an edition of Gawain and the Green Knight and being angry that it required footnotes, because his father wouldn't have needed them. I resent the hegemony of modern English, which sucks the juice out of language (in this case itself) by flattening everything to TV sitcom's 2000 words. But at least it's constantly aborbing juices from elsewhere. If one can no longer use 18th century Latinate diction without being called purple (incorrectly) or pretentious (by those who've never read 18th century authors), maybe some day we'll be able to drop into an English that's 35% Hokkien, 20% Japanese, 10% Malay and 5% Hebrew. Seasoned with Gaelic and Spanish and roasted in a slow oven until done.
Tags: chinese, language, rl_08
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