Archive for January, 2019

Corgi fighting words

Viral video of two corgis exchanging angry barks:

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Peppa Pig uncensored — for now

Last year, poor Peppa was banned from the airwaves, online video channels, and movie theaters in China after she fell afoul of the censors for allegedly associating with gangsta characters.

"Peppa Pig has been purged" (5/2/18)

Now she's been rehabilitated, and just in time:

"Peppa Pig to celebrate Chinese New Year with special film", Kylie Knott, SCMP (1/12/19)

New characters include Dumpling and Glutinous Rice Ball, both popular Chinese New Year delicacies

The British cartoon character that fell foul with Chinese censors last year

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Ultra-polite term for miso soup

[This is a guest post by Nathan Hopson]

I just came across perhaps the strangest kanji compound in the entire 20+ years since I started learning Japanese:

御御御付 (おみおつけ omiotsuke)

Bottom line: it's miso soup.

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Slavs and slaves

I am in the Czech Republic for lectures and meetings with colleagues.  This morning I climbed up to the gigantic oppidum at the top of a steep hill outside Prague near the little town of Zbraslav.

Oppidum is a Latin word meaning the main settlement in any administrative area of ancient Rome, and applied more generally in Latin to smaller urban settlements than cities, equating to "town" in English (bearing in mind that ancient "cities" could be very small by modern standards). The word is derived from the earlier Latin ob-pedum, "enclosed space", possibly from the Proto-Indo-European *pedóm-, "occupied space" or "footprint".


After agonizing over the pronunciation of the consonant cluster at the beginning of Zbraslav, I speculated over the meaning of the second part of the name (I surmised that the name as a whole means "glory / fame / renown of weapons").  This led to a discussion with my host, Jakub Maršálek, who is well informed about the archeology and history of the region, about the connection between "slave" and "Slav".

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Babies Dismount

Anne Henochowicz spotted this sign in a shopping mall in Central, Hong Kong:

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David Bowie in 1999: The internet is an alien life form

All I have time for this afternoon:

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Miscellaneous bacteria, part 2

From Diana S. Zhang, apropos of the recent post "Miscellaneous bacteria":

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A new, complex polysyllabic kanji

We've seen many a polysyllabic Sinograph on Language Log (check the Readings below).  The one presented here is perhaps more creative and intriguing than any previously encountered:

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Visual puns in K-pop, part 2

Three days ago, we saw how the group named Apink wrote the Korean phrase “eung-eung 응응” (“yes”, “okay”, or “uh huh”) as %% for the title of their hit single:  "Visual puns in K-pop" (1/10/19).

Now comes another famous K-pop song called "T T" (Roman letter T):

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"Spooked up"

Jack Shafer, "Week 86: FBI’s Blockbuster Probe of Trump’s Loyalty Revealed", Politico 1/12/2018:

Thanks to a redaction error made in a legal filing by convicted felon Paul Manafort’s lawyers, we learned that special counsel Mueller believes that former Trump campaign director Paul Manafort lied about passing, in spring 2016, political polling data to two Russia-aligned Ukrainian oligarchs he had previously worked for. Using his right-hand man— suspected Russian intelligence asset Konstantin Kilimnik as his go-between—the Manafort pass-through splinters Donald Trump’s protestations that his campaign was free of connections to the Russians. […]

Manafort’s partner in crime, confessed felon Rick Gates, told an associate that “Person A” (now widely known to be Kilimnik) “was a former Russian Intelligence Officer with the GRU” (the Russian military intelligence agency) according to a March 2018 Mueller filing. The filing later states that Kilimnik still had his Russian intelligence ties in 2016.  […]

If Gates knew Kilimnik was spooked up with the Russians, it stands to reason that Manafort did, too.

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Speak Hakka, our Mother Tongue

From the Hakka Affairs Council in Taiwan:


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Miscellaneous bacteria

Jeff DeMarco spotted this menu item at the Splendid China attraction in Shenzhen:

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The face of censorship

Here's what it looks like:

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