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Friday, July 27, 2012

Language

Try reading this out loud. Do you understand what it means?

《施氏食狮史》
石室诗士施氏,嗜狮,誓食十狮。
氏时时适市视狮。
十时,适十狮适市。
是时,适施氏适市。
氏视是十狮,恃矢势,使是十狮逝世。
氏拾是十狮尸,适石室。
石室湿,氏使侍拭石室。
石室拭,氏始试食是十狮。
食时,始识是十狮尸,实十石狮尸。
试释是事。

According to Wikipedia, the meaning in english is this:

« Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den »
In a stone den was a poet called Shi, who was a lion addict, and had resolved to eat ten lions.
He often went to the market to look for lions.
At ten o'clock, ten lions had just arrived at the market.
At that time, Shi had just arrived at the market.
He saw those ten lions, and using his trusty arrows, caused the ten lions to die.
He brought the corpses of the ten lions to the stone den.
The stone den was damp. He asked his servants to wipe it.
After the stone den was wiped, he tried to eat those ten lions.
When he ate, he realized that these ten lions were in fact ten stone lion corpses.
Try to explain this matter.

So interesting how this story can be written with just one syllabus of the Chinese language!

So anyway, I also read up on syntactic ambiguity. It means like how one sentence can have two meanings because of the way it is structured. I'm especially particular about this when writing my blog entries because I don't want anyone to misread my words so usually I'd try to write in the simplest and clearest way I can.

Here are some examples I got from Wikipedia too.

(1) The man saw the boy with the binoculars.
- The man saw the boy with the binoculars (in this case, binoculars is with the boy)
- The man saw the boy with the binoculars (in this case, binoculars is with the man instead of the boy)

(2) They are hunting dogs.
- A group of dogs trained for hunting
- They (predator) are out hunting for dogs (prey)

(3) Free whales.
- $0 whales
- Returning freedom to the whales

(4) He saw that gas can explode
- He witness the gas can exploding
- He saw that the gas has the ability to explode

(5) We saw her duck
- Duck (action/ animal)

(6) Hole found in changing room wall; police are looking into it.
- Looking into it (Eyes looking into the hole / investigating)

Language is so amazing!








2 comments :

  1. hi esther. may i ask for advice on r/s? how do u cope after u had broken up with ur ex? currently i'm in this situation..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not sure how to reply you. Everyone will have a different way of coping with it, depending on their character. Just remember that time will heal wounds. :) Hope you are able to move on soon!

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