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Re: [Lingo] So happy I cried... writing japanese words

David J Iannucci writes:

 > > Depends on who you ask.  If you ask a real linguist they'll say yes.
 > I'm a real linguist and actually we don't care :-)

That's what I mean by a real linguist will say they're all valid.

 > > It says that there's actually a government standard that prescribes
 > > the connecting kana.  <monomane geinojin="Dave Barry">I am *still* not
 > > kidding.</monomane>
 > In a language like Japanese where written forms can be so fluid (kinda
 > strange, actually, in a culture which is in other ways so infuriatingly
 > conservative about writing),

Actually, I think Japanese writing is of a piece with Japanese urban
renewal.  When the Japanese are forced to rebuild a city from scratch
by disasters natural and artificial (eg, Hanshin Daishinsai or WWII
bombing of Tokyo), they invariably choose to rebuild the same rabbit
warren of streets that are too narrow for the traffic they carry (let
alone to avoid being blocked when a building falls on them) and don't
necessarily go anywhere.  This is often attributed to the desire to
make life difficult for outsiders (whether foreign invaders or native

I see the writing system as the same kind of thing.  So this
apparently complex fluidity is actually rooted in conservatism.

 > it's not a bad thing, I think, to have government standards on such
 > topics.

Look how much good it's done the French!

[1]  This is particularly apparent at the University of Tsukuba,
deliberately (I am told) architected from scratch to have few large
open spaces within the academic part of campus, none of which have
accesses that will hold more than about five people walking abreast.

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