[FoRK] What's in a name?

Ken Meltsner meltsner at alum.mit.edu
Tue Mar 29 16:49:43 PDT 2011

On Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 2:11 PM, HK Pang <hkpang at gmail.com> wrote:

> Yeah, kanji/Chinese is pretty fun to read/write. Mega-homonyms
> actually make it easy to find words that rhymn, good for poetry/lyrics
> etc.
> But homonymns in day to day life create lots of ambiguities. Korea,
> for example, has always try to get rid of the kanji system. But if
> they do that, they will have a very hard time identifying names and
> places.
> The other day,I was at a Cantonese restaurant and the waitress
> (apparently not very fluent in Cantonese) told me the special of the
> day was 'night flavored chicken'. I asked for clarification and she
> repeated the same thing but explained what it was. Then I realized she
> was trying to say "coconut flavored chicken'. She probably didn't know
> 'night flavor' was a popular euphemism for 'human feces'. ...
Which is why I order in English (well, I have to, but I'd hate to think what
dishes would result from my bad pronunciation).

Damn good story.

Ken Meltsner

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