[ExI] don't bother

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Fri Aug 7 16:10:46 UTC 2020

On Fri, Aug 7, 2020 at 9:57 AM spike jones via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

*> After 30 years of calling my Japanese friends amanojaku, I find out
> Amanojaku is a demon-like beast in Japanese folklore, who devours a child
> and dresses up in her skin in order to impersonate the child to fool her
> grandparents into feeding it. All this time for all those years, my sushi
> guy was saying “Greetings, horrifying demon.”  Why that sly bastard.  I
> don’t think I will use the other Japanese terms and phrases he suggested I
> say to attractive young Japanese-speaking women.*

*Richard Feynman also tried to learn Japanese and this is what he had to
say about it: *


*While in Kyoto I tried to learn Japanese with a vengeance. I worked much
harder at it, and got to a point where I could go around in taxis and do
things. I took lessons from a Japanese man every day for an hour. One day
he was teaching me the word for "see." "All right," he said. "You want to
say, 'May I see your garden?' What do you  say?" I made up a sentence with
the word that I had just learned. "No, no!" he said. "When you say to
someone, 'Would you like to see my garden?  you use the first 'see.' But
when you want to see someone else's garden, you must use  another 'see,'
which is more polite."  "Would you like to glance at my lousy garden?" is
essentially what you're saying  in the first case, but when you want to
look at the other fella's garden, you have to say something like, "May I
observe your gorgeous garden?" So there's two different words you have to
use.  Then he gave me another one: "You go to a temple, and you want to
look at the gardens. . ." I made up a sentence, this time with the polite
"see." "No, no!" he said. "In the temple, the gardens are much more
elegant. So you have to say something that would be equivalent to 'May I
hang my eyes on your most  exquisite gardens?'  Three or four different
words for one idea, because when I'm doing it, it's miserable; when you're
doing it, it's elegant. I was learning Japanese mainly for technical
things, so I decided to check if this same problem existed among the
scientists. At the institute the next day, I said to the guys in the
office, "How would I say in Japanese, 'I solve the Dirac Equation'?" They
said such­and­so. "OK. Now I want to say, 'Would you solve the Dirac
Equation?' ­­ how do I say  that?" "Well, you have to use a different word
for 'solve,' " they say. "Why?" I protested. "When I solve it, I do the
same damn thing as when you solve  it!" "Well, yes, but it's a different
word ­­ it's more polite."  I gave up. I decided that wasn't the language
for me, and stopped learning Japanese."*

* John K Clark*
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