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You know what, I don’t post enough Samantha Bee. I should really, really post more Samantha Bee. And, to make up for it, here is a PSA from Samantha Bee. Yo, cis dudes, this one’s for you. Happy weekend, everyperson who has never shown another human being their dick unsolicited.
Advertisement recently spotted by Guy Freeman in the Central, Hong Kong MTR (subway) station:
It's a mixture of Chinese and English, of simplified and traditional characters. In this post, I will focus on the calligraphically written slogan on the right side of the poster:
Hǎinèi cún 'zhī'jǐ, let's zhīfùbǎo
This slogan is not easy to translate. Consequently, before attempting to do so, I will explain some of the more elusive aspects of these two clauses / lines.
First of all, the zhī 支 inside single Chinese quotation marks in the first clause has more than two dozen different meanings, including "support, sustain, raise, bear, put up, prop up, draw money, pay, pay money, disburse, check / cheque, defray, protrude, put off, put somebody off, send away, branch, stick, offshoot, twelve earthly branches, a surname, division, subdivision, auxiliary verb, measure word for troops". For the moment, I'll refrain from attempting to translate it in the present context.
In the second clause, zhī 支 is part of the disyllabic word zhīfù 支付 ("pay [money]; defray"), which, in turn, is part of the trademark Zhīfùbǎo 支付宝 ("Alipay", China's clone of PayPal). Being the name of a company, Zhīfùbǎo 支付宝 ("Alipay") is a noun. However, since it here follows "let's" to form a first person plural command, it is acting as a verb: "let's Zhīfùbǎo 支付宝" ("let's Alipay").
When we realize that the first clause is a literary allusion, it gets even trickier. The first clause is perfectly homophonous with and echoes the first line of this couplet by the Tang poet, Wang Bo 王勃 (650-676):
hǎinèi cún zhījǐ, tiānyá ruò bǐlín
"When you have a close friend in the world, the far ends of heaven are like next door."
Thus 'zhī'jǐ「支」己 (lit., "pay self") is a pun for zhījǐ 知己 ("bosom / close / intimate friend; confidant[e]; soulmate", lit., "know-self").
I would translate the whole couplet this way:
"You have a bosom friend (pay pal) everywhere, let's Alipay"
Guy notes that the ad "is from Alipay, a subsidiary of Alibaba, a very large Internet company from China. This shows the occasional outbursts from Chinese officials about defeating English to be useless at best."
Last question: why did they use the English word "let's" instead of the equivalent Mandarin, "ràng wǒmen 让我们" or "ràng wǒmen yīqǐ 让我们一起"? But that's three or five syllables instead of one, so it sounds clumsy and clunky instead of neat and crisp the way an ad should be.
If they wanted to avoid the English "let's" and use only Chinese, they could have written something like this:
yīqǐ Zhīfùbǎo 一起支付宝 ("together Alipay")
To tell the truth, in terms of rhythm, idiomaticity, and catchiness, that actually sounds better than "let's Zhīfùbǎo 支付宝 ('let's Alipay')" when paired with "Hǎinèi cún 'zhī'jǐ 海内存「支」己" ("You have a bosom friend [pay pal] everywhere").
Bottom line: they wanted to sound international, since Alipay has global aspirations.
There have been many earlier posts on multiscriptalism and multilingualism involving numerous languages and scripts. Here are some that specifically feature Chinese:
- "Zhao C: a Man Who Lost His Name" (2/27/09)
- "A New Morpheme in Mandarin" (4/26/11)
- "Creeping Romanization in Chinese" (8/30/12)
- "Character amnesia and the emergence of digraphia" (9/25/13)
- "Biscriptal juxtaposition in Chinese" (8/17/14)
- "Biscriptal juxtaposition in Chinese, part 2" (10/15/14)
- "Digraphia and intentional miswriting" (3/12/15)
- "A trilingual, biscriptal note (with emoji)" (2/5/17)
- "Biscriptal juxtaposition in Chinese, part 3" (4/25/17)
This is not an exhaustive list.
[Thanks to Fangyi Cheng, Yixue Yang, and Jinyi Cai]
In the comments to "Easy versus exact" (10/14/17), a discussion of the term "Hànzi 汉子" emerged as a subtheme. Since it quickly grew too large and complex to fit comfortably within the framework of the o.p., I decided to write this new post focusing on "Hàn 汉 / 漢" and some of the many collocations into which it enters.
To situate Language Log readers with some basic terms they likely already know, we may begin with Hànyǔ 汉语 ("Sinitic", lit., "Han language"), Hànyǔ Pīnyīn 汉语拼音 ("Sinitic spelling"), and Hànzì 汉字 ("Sinograph, Sinogram", i.e., "Chinese character"). All of these terms incorporate, as their initial element, the morpheme "Hàn 汉 / 漢". Where does it come from, and what does it mean?
"Hàn 汉 / 漢" is the name of a river that has its source in the mountains of the southwest part of the province of Shaanxi. It is the longest tributary of the Yangtze River, which it joins at the great city of Wuhan. The fact that Han is a river name is reflected in the water semantophore on the left side of the character that is used to write it.
The name of the river was adopted by Liu Bang (256-195 BC), the founding emperor, as the designation for his dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) — more specifically, the dynasty was named after Liu Bang's fiefdom Hànzhōng 汉中 / 漢中 (lit. "middle of the Han River"). After the Qin (221-206 BC), from which the name "China" most likely derives, the Han was the second imperial dynasty in Chinese history. Because the fame of the Han Dynasty resounded far and near, it came to be applied to the main ethnic group of China, as well as the language they spoke and the characters used to write it. Note that there could have been no Han ethnicity or nation before the Han Dynasty.
After the Han Dynasty fell, many of the dynasties that ruled in the northern part of the former empire during the following centuries were non-Sinitic peoples (proto-Mongols, proto-Turks, etc.) who actually looked down upon their Han subjects. During that period, in their mouths, "Hàn 汉 / 漢" became a derogatory term, especially in collocations such as Hàn'er 汉儿 and Hànzi 汉子, which we might think of as meaning something like "Han boy / fellow / guy". Such terms derived from "Hànrén 汉人 (漢人)" ("Han people"), which generally became a respectable designation again after the collapse of the northern dynasties. It is remarkable, however, that during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), when the Mongols ruled over China, non-Sinitic peoples such as the Khitans, Koreans, and Jurchens were referred to as "Hànrén 汉人 (漢人)" ("Han people").
Here are some terms in Mandarin that are based on the Han ethnonym but refer to different types of people in various ways:
hànzi 汉子 39,300,000 ghits
1. man; fellow
3. Historically, as mentioned above, during the Northern Dynasties (386-577), hànzi 汉子 was a derogatory reference for Sinitic persons used by non-Sinitic peoples (who were rulers in the north at that time).
nánzǐhàn 男子汉 ("a real man") 11,600,000 ghits
nǚ hànzi 女汉子 ("tough girl") 7,180,000 ghits
dà nánzǐhàn 大男子汉 ("a big guy; macho man") 53,100 ghits
Comments by native speaker informants:
I know all these terms and I agree with all your translations. However, I also think that nǚ hànzi 女汉子could mean "tomboy" (girls who can do things that men can do). I once saw a translation of nǚ hànzi 女汉子as wo-man. I think that’s interesting too.
I think the term nǚ hànzi 女汉子 emerged only in the last few years in the Chinese-speaking world. So it is a bit difficult for someone like me who has been living outside for the last forty years to accurately tell its exact meaning. If it applies to young women only, then "tomboy" may not be too far off.
"What does the Chinese word '女漢子' mean?" (Quara)
"Renewal of the race / nation" (6/24/17)
Joshua A. Fogel, "New Thoughts on an Old Controversy: Shina as a Toponym for China", Sino-Platonic Papers, 229 (August, 2012), 1-25 (free pdf)
Victor H. Mair, "The Classification of Sinitic Languages: What Is 'Chinese'?, in Breaking Down the Barriers: interdisciplinary studies in Chinese linguistics and beyond (Festschrift for Alain Peyraube), pp. 735-754 (free pdf), esp. pp. 739-741.
[Thanks to Yixue Yang, Jinyi Cai, Sanping Chen, and Jing Wen]
Hit the target with 4 arrows at 30 yards
Score more than 24 points on a RR
have a clean office (Thanks Tara!)
Progress this Week
Score 3 Royal Rounds (Scored 2)
Go to 30 meetings (it was supposed to be dance but we didn't get up critical mass to dance and just sat around talking)
Attend archery 20 times
Post 100 Situations Prompts
Clean off desk
Clean off the table
30 new kiva loans
Read 30 Jews Wikipedia page (Karl Marx)
Listen to 90 podscasts
Read the bible
It's funny because the best day of my life is probably my wedding day, but I honestly don't remember much of it. I remember my dad walking me down the aisle and seeing the photographer and Kevin, and I remember saying I do, and then the champagne started. I remember thanking Lowell, who owned the restaurant we got married in, and I remember a stuffed cheetah. But... most of it is gone.
( the rest )
Human research subjects are all over popular media. Lab rats, guinea pigs, and even the obscure “Pharmer’s daughter” (From The Facility, 2012) all refer to people who participate in biomedical research as test subjects—often ingesting experimental drugs to test their toxicity or therapeutic effectiveness.
The clinical trial industry has decried the representations of human subjects in the media for being fantastical and overly dramatic. The concern is that portraying human subjects in a negative light hurts their ability to recruit participants, test experimental products, and profit from approved drugs.
But how are human research subjects actually portrayed?
In two new publications, my co-author Jill Fisher and I look at how human subjects are represented in popular entertainment media. We analyzed 65 television shows and films like Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, Grey’s Anatomy, The Facility and The Amazing Spiderman.
We find that human research subjects are predominately white men from lower socio-economic backgrounds. When women are represented, they are more likely to be shown being coerced into research (rather than enrolling for therapeutic or financial reasons).
2 Broke Girls is actually an outlier in this regard. In this show, Max and Caroline were not coerced but financially motivated to participate in clinical trials—or as Max likes to call it: “getting paid $500 to roll the side effect dice and hope it lands on hallucinations! [audience laughter]”
Indeed, films and shows did use fantastical and dramatic representations of side effects—from discussions of men growing breasts, limb regrowth, and fits of rage and violence—and death and injury were common. Most of these medical studies failed—and failed in spectacularly horrific or comedic ways.
While negative, this portrayal is not necessarily wrong or bad:
Importantly, negative outcomes of fictional medical research are not the same as negative depictions of science… There are real risks to research participants who enroll in medical studies as well as high rates of scientific failure (Fisher and Cottingham 2017:575–76).
While industry representatives may dislike portrayals for their inaccuracies, the fact that many clinical trials do fail and have serious potential to harm subjects cannot be absolved by painting subjects as “medical heroes” as some have tried (Peddicord 2012).
What do human subjects think of these portrayals?
We took the study further by looking at how human research subjects themselves use film and television to understand clinical trials. Surprisingly, the discussion of dramatic side effects were common among their responses. As one participant noted:
Like I never heard of this [clinical trials], and ‘They do what?!’ You know, you gonna grow an extra eye, you gonna grow, you-you know, you hear all these things, you know. – Rob
And yet, after they had participated in a clinical trial and saw that the more common side effects listed in the informed consent documents included dizziness, headaches, nausea, and fatigue, they became less concerned about the risks of clinical trials. Rather than scaring these participants away, representations in the media seemed to make the mundane and ordinary list of potential side effects (even cardiac issues!) appear even more acceptable.
We frame media portrayals and participant perspectives on the risks of clinical trials as collective and individual efforts to manage the anxieties surrounding the risks of experimental biomedical research. As a society, we have come to accept the fact that experimental research requires risking human welfare and comfort, but remain ambivalent about the idea that science is inherently good and linked to social progress.
Collectively, we manage this ambivalence by dehumanizing research subjects or indulging in tales of science gone wrong. At the individual level, research participants use media portrayals of “lab rats” and “guinea pigs” to manage the fears and anxieties of the research they undergo. No one has grown a third arm, had their penis shrink, or turned blue in a Phase I clinical trial, so it must not be too harmful…right?
Read More Here:
Cottingham, Marci D. and Jill A. Fisher. Forthcoming. “From Fantasy to Reality: Managing Biomedical Risk Emotions in and through Fictional Media.” Health, Risk & Society 1–17.
Fisher, Jill A. and Marci D. Cottingham. 2017. “This Isn’t Going to End Well: Fictional Representations of Medical Research in Television and Film.” Public Understanding of Science 26(5):564–78.
Peddicord, Doug. 2012. “Television’s Assault on Medical Research.” Huffington Post.
Marci Cottingham is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Amsterdam. Her research focuses on the sociology of emotion, social inequalities, healthcare, and biomedical risk. More on her research (including the two papers discussed here) can be found on her website.
In recent years, several adventurers from Egypt have embarked on distinctive expeditions and cycling trips. However, it is exceptional to detect a female among these adventurers, let alone a female adventurer who is set to solo cycle around Egypt.
Hamsa Mansour, a cyclist and an adventurer, has come to a decision to invade and discover the world of thrill and escapade by cycling around Egypt in addition to planning on other expeditions and adventures in the future.
Mansour has lived her entire life in Egypt where, she says, women are perceived as the weaker gender. This misconception triggered her to make the best use of her passion to traveling, documentation, and storytelling to prove this wrong and to change the status quo.
“I am set to go on a solo cycling trip in November [across] the Red Sea and Sinai. This trip will be in preparation for a bigger one that will take place in 2019 around Egypt,” Mansour told Egyptian Streets.
As a prerequisite for her Red Sea and Sinai trip, Mansour had to conclude a solo cycling trip to Ismailia in March.
Mansour will be required to cycle about 775 Kilometers for her Red Sea and Sinai trip, which will last for 11 days. The goal of this trip is for Mansour to push her limits, physically and mentally. She will create stories on the road; she hopes other people to be inspired by the beauty of this country.
In 2018, she will be required to cycle 1600 Kilometers to the Western Desert’s Oases before her grand solo cycling trip in 2019.
“I’ve been searching in the cycling community for other female cyclists in Egypt, but all of them go on cycling trips in groups,” Mansour says. If she completes her solo cycling trip around Egypt in 2019, Mansour will be the first Egyptian female to do it.
Wild Guanabana, a company specialized in designing and creating authentic travel experiences, will be Mansour’s sponsor in her trip.
Regarding the safety measures, Mansour believes that her trip is rather safe and she is excited to meet people on the road. She has both Nour El-Din and Galal Zekra, both solo-cycled around Egypt previously, to act as an integral part of her emergency team.
Mansour has a team based in Cairo that has a detailed agenda of her trip explaining where she should be every day; this functions as a spot device to detect her exact location. Also, an emergency person, in each city, will be able to reach her in no-longer than 45 minutes.
“I am a first-aid trainer, which will further assist me in case of injuries,” Mansour adds.
Mansour, however, believes that the hardest part of her trip will be the last part where she will have to ascend. Mansour will conclude her trip by climbing Egypt’s highest summit, Mountain Saint Catherine.
As part of her future plans, Mansour will Kayak from Aswan to Damietta. She will be accompanied by her fellow cyclist Nour El-Din on the kayaking trip. She will go on the kayaking trip right after concluding her November cycling trip.
Growing up, Mansour says that she wasn’t physically capable of achieving much. She, however, worked on her physique that now, she works as an adventure trip leader who helps people climb mountains, reach summits, and go on off-road cycling trips.
Mansour helps people push their limits, break boundaries and get out of their comfort zones.
On the long run, Mansour’s goal is to take an extra mile and go on an expedition in the Indian Ocean in a mango Tree canoe, a part of a competition that is constantly organized. Mansour also aims at climbing the seven summits, which comprise the highest and hiking the Great Himalaya Trail: a 1000-mile trail through India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Nepal.
Follow Hamsa Mansour on Instagram
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Y’all, I just saw this child on Friday and last night, he seemed a third again as big as he was on Friday.
Also, on Friday, he was still like “Eyes? Yuck, why do I have to see things? I will just shut these and hope for the best.”
And last night he was all “I will kind of look at you! Oops, my eyes slid over to this other thing to look at! Whoa, here’s another thing to look at.”
His mom said that he smiles at the tassel on the curtain by the changing table. She doesn’t know if that’s because the tassel is his friend or if he’s just pleased he recognizes something.
It’s weird when you think of how sight must happen. That at some point, you have to make the connection that you’re seeing actual things out there in the world that you can predictably see again, that the things you’re seeing are something and so looking at them is worthwhile.
I’m also… ugh… this is stupid and uncomfortable, but I’m trying to get more used to how I look, to just be neutral to slightly pleased with it. So, that sucks and is weird, but I just can’t run around being all “I hate this meat sack.” I don’t need to love it, but I have to make some peace with it.
Anyway, look at those adorable tiny jeans!
From Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything, by Kelly Weinersmith and Zack Weinersmith:
Some background reading, to inspire further grammatical derring-do:
"Those who take the adjectives from the table", 2/18/2004
"Avoiding rape and adverbs", 2/25/2004
"Modification as social anxiety", 5/16/2004
"The evolution of disornamentation", 2/21/2005
"Adjectives banned in Baltimore", 3/5/2007
"Automated adverb hunting and why you don't need it", 3/5/2007
"Worthless grammar edicts from Harvard", 4/29/2010
"Getting rid of adverbs and other adjuncts", 2/21/2013
"'Clutter' in (writing about) science writing", 8/30/2013
"Adjectives and adverbs", 5/16/2017
Justice Neil Gorsuch balked at the multifaceted empirical approach that the Democratic team bringing the suit is proposing be used to calculate when partisan gerrymandering has gone too far, comparing the metric to a secret recipe.
Rick notes that "This passage from 538 took me several readings".
Courtesy of treebanking expert Beatrice Santorini, here's the constituent-structure tree:
The Penn Treebank style would omit the function tags -SBJ for subject and -OB1 for direct object, deducing the functions from the syntactic context. Current annotation versions may also explicitly indicate compound nouns, which the structure below doesn’t. The subjunctive on “be” isn’t explicitly indicated.
With the approval of three new solar power plants under a $US 500 million financing package by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), investments in Egypt’s solar energy sector hit record levels in 2017.
In a press statement on Wednesday, EBRD said it is providing $US 73 million for the construction and operation of three solar photovoltaic power plants in Egypt’s southern province of Aswan with a total capacity of 120 megawatts.
According to the bank, these plants “will contribute to a reduction of approximately 150,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions yearly and will help the economic development of the Aswan province.”
The new plants, set to become the largest solar site in Africa, is part of a financing framework worth $US 500 million for renewable energy in Egypt. The framework includes 16 new solar power plants, making the EBRD the “single largest investor in renewable energy in the country.”
Harry Boyd-Carpenter, head of EBRD’s power and energy utilities told Bloomberg that “because it’s got the right regulatory framework in place, Egypt has been able to attract all of these different investors and should comfortably get more than a gigawatt of capacity financed this year.”
While Egypt’s energy sector is heavily dominated by oil and gas, the new plants will be “the first private utility-scale renewable-energy projects in [the] country”.
Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail signed on Tuesday the final agreement to establish the three new plants in the Benban area of Aswan.
The minister stressed during a press conference after the signing ceremony that the government is increasingly focusing on developing the country’s renewable energy sources.
“We aim to reach 37 percent” of total energy output, he said.
The construction of the solar plants will be completed by the end of next year.