Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Interesting stuff, honest

What with all the Sino-bashing going on around the world (except, strangely, in China... maybe it's not a masochistic sort of place, on aggregate, though it has more of a claim to being machoistic, so don't confuse the two terms, kids!), with a prominent example [if only due to the power of the people involved rather than any inherent truth-value or insight, but that's the nature of the human life it seems, and you really should try to get used to it if you haven't already] being the obsession of American politicians with the dollar-yuan exchange rate, the following fact might be particular interesting, short-attention-span readers of mine. This fact is the answer to a question, so in keeping with convention and tradition, I'll write the question first. You'll find out the fact eventually. Question: What is "(American) dollar" in Chinese? Answer: In Chinese characters: 美元; romanized: mei yuan. Highly interesting, right? What?! How can you disagree? Oh right, you don't know any Chinese. [If you do know enough Chinese to understand, you have no excuse, obviously]. It's interesting, I would argue, because "yuan" is the name of the Chinese currency of the moment, and "mei" means... beautiful. Isn't that sweet? So the US dollar is called the "beautiful currency", sort of. I'm sure this choice stems from a desire to suck up, but I dare not consider any further. Or maybe it's heavy irony. Hmm. Either way, interesting, as I said earlier, you skeptic. This is all proven here (to your low standards of proof, anyhow, which on this occasion is good enough for me). What's "concise" in Chinese, you ask? I have no clue. In every sense of the phrase (in English). Ha.


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