Tuesday, September 21, 2004

At last, subject matter! Read, if you know what's good for, this article on an expedition which sought the renowned allghoi khorkhoi, the Mongolian Death-worm. Cryptozoology aside, the author paints a nice picture of the absurd and delightful tribulation of travelling in Mongolia; I experienced many similar moments when I was there.

And here's a really entertaining linguistic knick-knack: a Chinese poem, every word of which is shih:

A poet by the name of Shih Shih living in a stone den was fond of lions. As he had taken an oath to eat ten lions, he went out to the market every day at ten o'clock in order to look for lions. It was at the time when all of a sudden ten lions came to the market and also Shih Shih went to the market at once realizing these ten lions. Relying on his (bow and) arrows, he caused these ten lions to pass away. Shih picked up the corpses of these ten lions, and as he went to the stone den, the stone chamber was damp. Shih had the stone den wiped by his servant. As the stone den was cleaned, it was the time that Shih began trying to eat the meal of these ten lions' corpses and he began to realize that these ten dead lions infact were ten stone lions' corpses and he tried to get rid of this matter.
Apparently, this poem was written to point out the stupidity of romanizing Chinese writing, and I find it pretty persuasive. Furthermore, Odious tells me that the Chinese administer a sobreity test, in which one has to say a tongue-twister about ten stone lions, which renders slurring of the speech quite evident.

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