The meat is delicious: The Shinkai-san dictionary

A friend pointed me to James Somer’s article praising the older editions of the Webster’s dictionary. His major points are that:
  • The original Webster carefully distinguishes between nuances of near-synonyms: Flashing differs from exploding or disploding in not being accompanied with a loud report. To glisten, or glister, is to shine with a soft and fitful luster, as eyes suffused with tears, or flowers wet with dew.
  • Compared with modern dictionaries, its language is more pleasant, charming, and also precise and evocative in its imagery (again: “to shine with a soft and fitful luster, as eyes suffused with tears, or flowers wet with dew”!)
I sent him a message about a modern dictionary that I like a lot Continue reading “The meat is delicious: The Shinkai-san dictionary”

Ishihara Yoshirō, Inaori Ringo

ひとつだけあとへ
とりのこされ
りんごは ちいさく
居直ってみた
りんごが一個で
居直っても
どうなるものかと
かんがえたが
それほどりんごは
気がよわくて
それほどこころ細かったから
やっぱり居直ることにして
あたりをぐるっと
見まわしてから
たたみのへりまで
ころげて行って
これでもかとちいさく
居直ってやった

An apple –
The only one left
Unpicked – petitely
Tried to stand true.
Though a single apple
May stand true,
What good could it do?
Though pondering thus,
The apple was so very timid
And so very helpless, that it nonetheless
Decided to stand truer still
And turned about
Looking around
And went rolling
Up to the hem of the mat and
As if it hadn’t done enough
Already
It stood proud, petitely and
True.

Ishihara Yoshirō, Inaori Ringo. We saw this poem in the morphosyntax class and I liked it. Transcription:

Hitotsu dake Ato e
Tori-nokosare
Ringo wa chiisaku
Inaotte-mita
Ringo ga ikko de
Inaottemo
Dō naru Mono ka to
Kangaeta ga
Sore-hodo Ringo wa
Ki ga yowakute
Sore-hodo Kokoro-hosokatta kara
Yappari inaoru Koto ni shite
Atari wo gurutto
Mimawashite kara
Tatami no Heri made
Korogete-itte
Kore demo ka to chiisaku
Inaotte yatta

Thanks to /u/Hyperwyrm and /u/GrammarNinja64 for corrections and insight. Inaoru, lit. “to fix your sitting” i.e. “to sit up straight”, also means “to assume a combative attitude” (especially when facing adversity). I chose “stand true” because I don’t think English has many idioms about combative sitting… Also I can’t for the life of me come up with a good Portuguese equivalent, standing or sitting.

I’m missing some nuance of bravado on that final kore demo ka… -te yatta