- Website: https://www.sas.upenn.edu/ealc/mair
Posts by Victor Mair:
Among many other accounts in English and in Chinese of Lu Gusun's 陆谷孙 passing on July 28, there are two articles in Shanghai Daily that are worthy of mention. Yesterday, there was an initial, brief announcement,
"Noted English literature professor Lu Gusun passes away at 76" (7/28/16) by Chen Huizhi.
Today, there is a much longer article by Chen Huizhi and Wang Yanlin, "Lu Gusun, celebrated professor and lexicographer, dies aged 76" (7/29/16).
[N.B.: TCM stands for "Traditional Chinese medicine"]
Geok Hoon (Janet) Williams found these posters this morning at Clementi, Singapore:
Over at this post — "Of shumai and Old Sinitic reconstructions" (7/19/16) — last week we had a lively discussion on Eurasian words for "wheat".
I'd like to pursue the subject now on a slightly different, but related, tack. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
BBC News has a nice article by Tzu-Wei Liu on "The politics of a martial arts book fair in Hong Kong" (7/26/16). The article is accompanied by six photographs; I will focus on the two that interest me most (because they are both language related), the third and the sixth.
Here's the third photograph:
No matter where I go these days, I hear young people shouting to their friends, "I'm playing Pokémon Go", which they pronounce "pokey-mon go". It would be an understatement to say that, for the past few weeks, Pokémon Go has been a veritable craze. Yet most people who play the game probably do not realize that the name "Pokémon" is a Japanese portmanteau based on two English words: poketto ポケット ("pocket") + monsutā モンスター ("monster").
"What's in a name — Pikachu, Beikaciu, Pikaqiu?" (5/31/16)
Dean Barrett sent in these two photographs of signs from, respectively, the Taiwan Literary Museum and a sex shop in Tainan that is well known for its wide selection of condoms:
Michael Rank sent in this notice banning the picking of mushrooms at Chobham Common, Surrey, said to be the largest nature reserve in the southeast of England:
A rather disturbing (at least to me) article in the South China Morning Post (7/24/16), "How China’s quest to become a football powerhouse is revamping the beautiful game: China has emerged as deep-pocketed investor in what amounts to a global power grab for influence in football", is preceded by this photograph:
Or maybe I should say, Tom Wolfe's take on linguistics.
I've been an avid reader of Tom Wolfe's works since the 60s: The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers, The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, The Right Stuff, The Painted Word, Bonfire of the Vanities). What I like most about his non-fiction is that, as a leader and exponent of the New Journalism, he writes with a flair that captures the reader's attention without sacrificing accuracy and objectivity. What attracts me to his novels is that they convey the impression of having been based on a huge amount of research, without in the least being turgid or dull.
From Coby Lubliner:
I have lately been watching an Australian TV series, "Serangoon Road," taking place in Singapore in the 1960s. The dialogue is mostly in English, but when it isn't it's in Mandarin, both among the Chinese and between them and the main character, an Australian who speaks it. I have so far heard no trace of any other Chinese. Is that realistic?
[This is a guest post by Matthew Robertson]
The 'Today' Interview With Oporto Robbery Heroes
In the United States, regional accents often carry with them negative stereotypes about class, status, intelligence, and more, making Southern versus Northern accents markers of division.
In Australia, it's largely the opposite. Regional vernacular and a broad accent (known as "Strine") is instead a unifier. Australia is, of course, much more culturally homogeneous than the United States — but the cross-class appreciation of the country's own manner of speech is another instance of a deeply entrenched ethos of egalitarianism. The comity and innocent enjoyment of all Australians with their own uneducated, unsophisticated working classes is clear in films like The Castle, or shows like Kath & Kim, among many others.
And it's also presented in microcosm in this video, an interview on the Australian morning program "Today," uploaded early this year.
No one in this Douban thread (so far) can identify the script in the image below:
An anonymous correspondent sent in this photograph of a fake vehicle license plate in the window of a truck parked in an industrial area in the New Territories, Hong Kong that he took a couple of years ago: