mjj (flemmings) wrote,
mjj
flemmings

Friday Five


1. Here is a map of The Weather Network. Very useful. Click on a city and it gives you the weather for the next few days, plus highs and lows, with pretty pictures as well.

TWN appears to be a solely Canadian enterprise, which I find hard to believe. Once upon a time there was an online weather service, linked through the Globby Mail, that had a map of Canada *and* the US, with clickities for major US cities as well as Canadian. Anyone know where I could find such a map, or just something like TWN's for the USA? (Mind, the two-country map was of limited usefulness for my purposes because in its divine wisdom it left NYC out entirely. Must have been a California outfit.) (And no thanks, USA Today, I want a map, not a list of cities.)

2. The world turned upside down. When did I grow so fond of getting my hydro bills? When they became a fraction of their former selves. Is it the smart meters, or is it my new and not exceptionally energy-efficient refrigerator? Or is a 2009 fridge really much much more efficient than a 1989 one?

3. My perverse body responds to long hours at the daycare because of ohh-yet-another-crisis by being less painful than when I stay at home studying kanji, doing my exercises, and taking two hour walks morning and afternoon. Perverse perverse body.

4. Rereading Hamlet. Swimming in words. Exhilarating and wonderful and Will, I think you have a high-level form of glossolalia, because I'm not sure that your coevals actually *used* that word with that meaning ever. (Evidence that this is true.) But maybe some of them did. My reading of minor Elizabethan prose writers is limited in the extreme. And if so-- it must have been fun, because what I'm seeing is a language in creation, words with semi-indeterminate meanings pulled arbitrarily out of Latin and Greek and who knows where, and plunked down because we like the sound of it. "Casual, carefree style and usage was a hallmark of this period-- a state of continual linguistic flux."

5. But even Shakespearean English is not as batshit as kanji/ hanzi etymology (if that's the word I want.) As expressed most accessibly in A Guide To Remembering Japanese Characters by Kenneth Henshall. For amusement one may Google book it to see for oneself. Insert a meaning or a random Japanese word (pref. kun-yomi; in romaji will do) and see what it says.

Shall give a brief example of the uhh interesting way in which hanzi meanings were acquired. 暴- read bou, baku, abareru/ku; meaning 'violence, expose'- is analyzed thus:
Once written (insert drawing of original character) showing rice 米, sun 日, and (drawing), the prototype of 奉, comprising two hands offering up a thickly growing plant (variant growing plant 生.) Originally meant expose rice to the sun (to dry it), then came to mean expose in general. Violence is popularly believed to be an associated meaning related to torture by exposure to the sun. Though useful as a mnemonic, this is almost certainly incorrect. The word abaku can mean both divulge and violate a grave, suggesting strongly that violence stems from violate, which in turn stems from laying bare/ open (disturbing privacy/ sanctity).
Err yes. Whatever you say, but the term 'far to seek' is constantly in my mind. I mean, it's been years since I read Pale Fire, but I vaguely recall it was full of exactly that kind of reasoning.
Tags: chinese, japanese, language, rl_09
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