scruta

Either you are sorting it out, or you are full of it.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

False Start #26

Generalizations are inevitably offensive. The Truth is THE generalization, and hence, the most offensive thing of all.

posted by ferret at 1:05 pm  

Friday, October 30, 2009

New Words: Floccinaucinihilipilification and Infundibuliform

Floccinaucinihilipilification

Infundibuliform

(Ah, Latin, how I miss you so…)

posted by ferret at 12:30 am  

Monday, October 26, 2009

False Start #25

I keep having the thought that the written word is becoming more and more sacred.

In a world flooded with images, where the sight of a pretty face or an epic scene is only a blink away, in a world inundated with sounds, where every single mundane activity is beset with a soundtrack, as if our lives were now at the center of some cosmological film-set, doesn’t the idea of seeing without seeing and hearing without hearing become more profound, more like an arcane magic guided by some mystical principle lost upon the world?

posted by ferret at 8:09 pm  

Sunday, October 25, 2009

伟哥 (Big Brother)

There’s a Big Brother in China, but not the one associated with the George Orwell classic. Although it should be noted that there are certainly a number of people, local and foreign alike, who believe that this sort of Big Brother does exist in China, and not all of them think that this is necessarily a bad thing…

But let’s leave the discussion of totalitarian regimes for elsewhere, shall we?

After all, there are more pressing matters to attend to, matters of stiff importance, matters that threaten to keep a people from developing a spirit, getting it up and going for it, leaving them flaccid and unable to spread the seeds of their culture, you know, important issues like male impotence.

Indeed, the word for Viagra in Chinese is 伟哥 (wèigē), which literally means “Big Brother”.

As exciting as this news is for those looking to let loose a pun or two whilst discussing China’s enlightened-authoritarian government, it should be qualified.

The official Chinese name for Viagra as it is marketed by Pfizer is 万艾可 (wànàikě) which is a sterilized transliteration of the original English name with no discernible meaning. I suppose they thought that this is a more suitable name for marketing a drug, as 伟哥 is a bit of a joke, as we’ll see in a bit.

However, Pfizer does recognize the existence of this common name for the drug, saying on its China website:

万艾可(枸橼酸西地那非片),即美国辉瑞“伟哥”

[Viagra (万艾可) (Citric acid-Sildenafil tablets), also Pfizer America's "Big Brother" ( 伟哥)]

The 伟 (wèi) portion of the word 伟哥 does mean ‘big’, but more in the sense of ‘grand’ or ‘great’, as seen in the word 伟大, which is used to describe the greatness of famous historical figures, countries, historic moments.

The character 哥 (gē) in its duplicated form, 哥哥, literally means ‘older brother’.  So now we’ve brought age into the equation.  Put them both together, and 伟哥 conjures up thoughts of your sad, impotent ‘older brother’ regaining his chance to get out and be ‘great’ again. Good, right? It gets better.

The world for ‘little brother’ in Chinese is 弟弟 (dìdì), which is also happens to be a slang word for ‘penis’. This pill makes your sad 弟弟 into one 伟哥.

In my opinion, whoever coined the name 伟哥 is a genius.  The name succinctly and memorably relates the effects of one of the world’s most famous pharmaceuticals.

Too bad some Big Brother in China didn’t see it that way.

posted by ferret at 2:35 am  

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New Words: Mash Note and Moxibustion

Mash Note

Moxibustion

posted by ferret at 1:17 pm  

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Russian Interest in Scruta

It seems that the Russian netizens of the world have taken a shine to this particular nook in the interwebs, this half-hearted rambling through the world in all its various aspects, this journal of a maladroit, desperately melodramatic young man on an aeteological quest for the defining principles of the universe, or at least a couple friendly comments.

Unfortunately, it seems that most of these comments have been left in Russian, which this humble author can not read. Judging by the fact the links attached to these comments were for porno or painkillers or viagra, I decided to junk them all. But just to be fair, I decided to ask my Russian friend, Moose&Squirrel, to translate for me.

The following are the original comments with Moose&Squirrel’s translations (plus commentary in parenthesis):

Интересно даже для бухгалтера:

interesting even for an accountant

Информативно,продолжай в том же духе:

informative, continue your work with such a spirit

на края луны, без вины, без вина, она одна о_0 пробило:

at the edge of the moon, without guilt, without wine, she alone exists(this has to do with your blog? i dunno??)

Захватывающе. Зачет! и ниипет!:

breathtaking…… (and i have no idea what this person is trying to say after this point.)

Well, it looks like even with their spam the Russians are still kings of the literary world.

posted by ferret at 12:29 am  

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

False Start #24

Light still glimmers in the darkness

Even if it’s the flashing of your own eyes.

posted by ferret at 12:31 am  

Thursday, October 8, 2009

False Start #23

Many times I think there are two people inside of me: the poet and the philosopher. The poet says, “There is no supposed to; there’s only what you do.” The philosopher says, “What you do should be what you are supposed to do.”

Sometimes they walk together easily. Sometimes they wrestle violently upon the ground clawing for the submission of the other. Sometimes one walks proudly in the sun while the other lurks in the shadows, plotting his revenge.

posted by ferret at 12:59 pm  

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Shells

I stood by an oak tree in fall

Trying to capture its beauty

The leaves afire with color

The branches balding slowly

But I couldn’t.

-

No words could speak this sudden bereavement

Where the coming cold turns the world ablaze.

-

Acorns were strewn on the ground.

The squirrels had gouged them for nuts

Discarding shell fragments.

-

Words are these shells

Rubble, shards, flotsam

Of the world in its changing.

-

I chose the task of fitting them together

Trying to show how the world vanishes

And bursts into flame at the same time.

posted by ferret at 3:56 am  

Monday, October 5, 2009

New Words: Musette and Carillon

Musette

Carillon

posted by ferret at 2:12 am  

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