Chi le ma? Il buon giorno cinese si dice così, e letteralmente vuol dire: «Hai già mangiato?». La passione, l’ossessione, quasi, dei cinesi per il cibo ha a che fare con l’incubo della fame che gli sconvolgimenti del Novecento e le carestie dell’epoca maoista hanno contribuito a radicare nelle menti, ma anche con una tradizione millenaria. Nel 1976, quando Mao morì, c’era un ristorante ogni tre milioni di cinesi, oggi ce n’è uno ogni quattrocento. Ai tempi della Cina imperiale, nella Città proibita, più della metà dei quattromila servitori era addetta al cibo e al vino dell’imperatore. In linea di massima, qui si mangia qualsiasi cosa abbia le gambe, eccetto i tavoli, che voli, tranne gli aerei, che si muova nell’acqua, escluse le navi.
Li le ma? Hai già divorziato? È un altro modo di salutare che racconta benissimo la modernizzazione cinese.
Academics call this mid-conversation and mid-sentence hybridization “code switching.” It is disliked by some native English speakers, but not by language experts.
“It is perfectly normal and linguistically fascinating, but people sometimes find it embarrassing,” says Jack Chambers, professor of sociolinguistics at the University of Toronto. “They think it is a sign of incompetence when it is really a sign of resiliency and creativity.”
Lezione di editing, cose da non fare (soprattutto non fidatevi ciecamente di Google):
Our family had always avoided German products but I have come to enjoy Jakobs Krönung coffee. His note on that was that Google said there was no umlaut over the letter “o.” Well, I knew he was wrong, but I had a bag of those beans in my freezer and double-checked. Of course there’s an umlaut; that’s the German spelling. Had he bothered to click on one of his Google links he might have seen an actual photo of a bag of Krönung beans. Is this petty? Yes. And that’s what happens too often with copy editing–you find yourself in an argument over small points with a total stranger who you’ll never meet. It’s a weird mix of intimacy, hostility, and distance.
In April of 1862, Emily Dickinson wrote to a stranger, initiating a fervent twenty-four-year correspondence, in the course of which they managed to meet only twice. Thomas Wentworth Higginson, thirty-eight, was a man of letters, a clergyman, a fitness enthusiast, a celebrated abolitionist, and a champion of women’s rights, whose essays on slavery and suffrage, but also on snow, flowers, and calisthenics, appeared in The Atlantic Monthly. “Letter to a Young Contributor,” the article that inspired Dickinson to approach him, was a column addressed to literary débutantes and—despite his deep engagement with the Civil War—a paean to the bookish life: “There may be years of crowded passion in a word, and half a life in a sentence,” he wrote, evoking Dickinson’s poetry without yet having seen it. “Mr. Higginson,” she began, with no endearment. “Are you too deeply occupied to say if my Verse is alive?”
Postato da: IM