Pete's novel

Pete Townshend has written a novel, and he's posting it on his blog, one chapter at a time.

Yes, I'm talking about the real Pete Townshend, from The Who.

He says at his blog: "What is well known is that I'm a rock star. You are not worthy etc. In fact you are worthy. And so am I. We deserve each other."

And the novel freebee isn't going to last forever: "Begins 24th September. This serial will run for 23 episodes, ending February 25th 2006."




I went out with someone I haven't seen for a while, and as we were walking to the restaurant, he said he'd checked out my site, and he'd enjoyed what he'd read. I assumed he was talking about this blog, but he meant my Metrofiction page.

I was shocked--someone had read what I wrote, and liked it? Wow. I hadn't asked him for any feedback, but he offered it to me, unsolicited. He even said it was funny, and he didn't know that I could write [so well?]. That surprised me even more, and I felt grateful.

It was just one person's opinion, but it made my day. It was interesting timing, too, because I discussed the Japanese word for "regret" in class earlier tonight, and I was thinking, "I regret a lot of things. I may even regret trying to write fiction."

But what timing--just when you think you're writing in a sealed bottle, someone comes along and takes off the cork.


Angry poet

I did a search for the terms "I tried to get published" and "gave up" to see who out there has thrown in the towel, and found Lelia, a poet who's been beaten down by the process.

She starts out with what a lot of people are saying throughout the Internet, I'm sure: "You know what really pisses me off? Publishers and agents."

And then the complaints of a fed-up poet begin:

Last year, I entered contests and lost to–without fail–abstract writers and poets (can we say LSD-induced writing? Yes, yes, we can) and…a group of a particular race, or so it seemed. Names just sometimes give away a nationality, or at the very least a culture mindset (e.g. Mohammed and La’Quinda).

Not even my SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope) was returned on most occasions. That is not a huge surprise, as this is typical of the publishing business’ lack of etiquette, but it’s still very frustrating...

After that, she offers us a list of "Other things that piss me off about the writing business," a small part of which is:

Publishing contests which obviously have a politically correct bent. This is VERY TYPICAL of American poetry contests. There are only so many survivor cancer patients, African American women, teens from the ‘ghetto,’ and Islamic ministers who can be so enlightened as to win every year for a particular contest. Give me a break...

..."We do not accept unsolicited poetry manuscripts and suggest you go through an agent if wanting to pursue publication with our publishing house.” — Grand. So, this leads me on the wild goose hunt for agents (most of which are apparently still living in the Stone Age and without a website). I finally find an agent, and what do I find on his submission guidelines? “[Insert Agent Company Name Here] does not read or represent poetry submissions.” In other words, let me get this straight: I’ve got a chance if I’m Rowling or King.

At the end of her rant, she really tells the publishing industrial complex off (what she calls the "prissy boys in the printing biz"). But it's too rude to quote here.

Hey, she said all that, not me. I'm just sharing it with the world. Good thing I'm not a poet. The fading fiction dream is bad enough.


Vos and vosotros

Mahndisa asked "about how vosotros from archaic Spanish got morphed into vos in Argentina."

I asked LanguageHat, and he said:

Actually, vos is the older form; vosotros is vos + otros 'you others.'
From The World's Major Languages (ed. Comrie):

In Latin America, the position is more complicated. Vosotros, the familiar plural form, has given way to ustedes, used with third person inflection, as a generalised plural. Vos, which in medieval Spanish had been used as a polite singular (just as Modern French vous), has taken over in many varieties as the generalised singular, colligating with inflections which are historically both singular and plural, sometimes even blends. `Voseo' is not a recent phenomenon; its roots must be sought in the colonial period, and recent archival research has revealed that it was well established in educated Buenos Aires usage by the beginning of the last century.

So, there's the best answer I could get without killing myself through research (or actually spending any time at all).


Tomb of remembrance

I was reading Jon Konrath's journal (which is a good read, especially if you're in an introspective mood) and saw his use of the phrase "tomb of remembrance." I'd never seen that before, especially in connection with the Internet, though the phrase is in a handful of places. The phrase popped up towards the end of a post about a guy who went to his school in exciting Indiana:

...Gunter was like the lowest member of the social pecking order at Concord. He came from a poor family, had greasy hair, some kind of speech impediment, and was into geek stuff like Dungeons and Dragons, but wasn't a bright guy, either. All through junior high and high school, he was the whipping post for most of the guys, and he got beat up a lot and just took the punishment. He actually tried out for a lot of sports, and tried to become athletic, and play basketball and football, and I guess it says a lot to be involved in preppy-dominated sports like that when you're the most hated kid in school.

And I think part of why I didn't outright just haze the guy continuously was the fact that I didn't want to be his friend, but I realized I had a lot more in common with him than I did with the jocko sport guys in school. I mean, I had this thing in high school where everyone thought I was some kind of kid genius, so it didn't matter if I only weighed 110 pounds of bones and skin and couldn't do a single chin-up, because someday I'd start the next Apple Computers or something. But Greg didn't have that going for him, so he tried to become a jock, which I guess didn't work that well either.

Anyway, there is no Greg Gunter tomb of remembrance on the web, and I couldn't even find an obituary or anything else online, except one hit that the public library would have one, but I'd have to go there and waste a day hunting for it, and it probably doesn't have a story of what happened or anything.

Maybe that post will become Greg's tomb of remembrance.


Seventh row!

I should've posted something yesterday, but I was too "busy" reading about and watching videos of Depeche Mode. I stayed online until well past midnight, and there's still a lot more to find out.

Why this interest in Depeche Mode? Because I heard an old song of theirs on the radio, which I have on vinyl from when it was originally released (early 80's) and I thought, "Hey, they're good." I hadn't listened to an album of theirs in a long time. Then after the song, I heard that they're coming to Chicago in November. So I went online and found concert clips to make sure that their shows weren't lame, and thought, "Maybe I should go."

But then there was the problem of ticket prices. I hate being ripped off by bands, especially those that preach that the fans are part of selfish, awful rich countries. U2 likes to remind us of that. They don't care that people have to shell out up to $170 for tickets to their shows. No, the concert-goers are the bad guys because we live in relative comfort and aren't starving. So we listen to their lectures while they live in mansions, stay in five-star hotels, and charge inflated prices throughout the world because they can get away with it. People worship them too much too complain.

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that Depeche Mode has two prices: $55 and $75. Not bad. It's not cheap, but it's not outrageous. And I had no idea they were so popular (they still play arenas after 20 years), so for them to have two prices is quite fair, considering their stardom.

So this morning I went to get a ticket, and I was prepared to get lame seats since there were already some presales. I wasn't going to pay the higher price until the clerk said: "Best available is first section, seventh row." That's seventh row in an arena! I asked her if it was the same price as the other sections that cost $75, and she said yes. "Seventh row for $75? I'll take it!" If this is an indication that my lot in my life is improving, then I'll go with it.

Of course, Ticketscheister (Ticketmaster) charged an addition $10 "fee." Whatever that means. I think that evil ticket cartel/monopoly fits what Depeche Mode sang about:

The grabbing hands grab all they can
All for themselves - after all
The grabbing hands grab all they can
All for themselves - after all
It's a competitive world
Everything counts in large amounts
The grabbing hands grab all they can
Everything counts in large amounts


Ambra's book

Wow, blogger Ambra Nykol is really blessed. She's about to become 24, and she's going to write a book that's going to get published. And she didn't have to do a query letter or outline or even contact an agent or any publisher or go to any confences to try to make important contacts, because they already want her, and have come to her with a deal. I don't know the details, but this is what she said:

In an unexpected turn of events, the publishers have come knocking and I really never thought I'd say it, but I think it's time to write a book. As terrifying as that sounds, I think I am going to explode if I don't. Five years ago, as a timid college drop-out, the thought first struck me and I began writing what has to be one my most horrible pieces of literature. Back then, I wasn't even close to being ready. Today, I am, and now my mind is just spinning.

She deserves it--her blog is the freshest around. Details to follow (hopefully).


Dangling prepositions allowed

I was reading Languagehat, and he said, "I will remind everyone that there is nothing wrong with ending a sentence with a preposition."

Really? I didn't know that, but he's the Language Guy, the Great One, so I should believe him, since he's got a lot more language experience than me (and most people).

So I clicked on his link to Language Log and saw the following explanation (excuse the long quote, but there's a lot of important info to share):

In 1672 an influential essayist called John Dryden published a critical piece called "Defence of the epilogue" which included a catalog of alleged faults in the writing of important recent authors. In that essay he called it "a common fault" to have a "Preposition in the end of the sentence". Notice, uncontroversially, the usage was common in the 17th century. That is because it was fully grammatical then, as it is now, and it already had been for centuries. Dryden even noted that it occurred in his own writings. He had no basis whatever for his objection to it...

...About a hundred years after Dryden expressed his opinion, Bishop Robert Lowth, in a grammar that became quite important, described the construction with the preposition at the front of the clause as "more graceful as well as more perspicuous", adding that it "agrees much better with the solemn and elevated style" --- though Lowth still made it extremely clear that it is normal in speech and "the familiar style in writing" (the style in which one writes I'm and couldn't rather than I am and could not). Slowly Lowth's view ossified in the writings of other grammarians. By 1800 several famous school textbooks expressed straightforward disapproval of the stranded preposition, and teachers began to teach generations of schoolchildren that it was wrong. In America (though much less in Great Britain) this belief survived from the 19th century into the 20th.

If you're wondering why he's so smart and knowledgeable, it's because he's a linguistics professor. So don't worry if your love of language is as "simple" as mine is compared to these linguistic heavyweights. The world needs us all.


Fiction is unfair

This could be an ongoing series: "How Fiction is Unfair," Parts I-X, but I don't want to always whine here about it. But I'm mentioning it today because I just saw an example (not from my own experience) of how the road to being published is difficult, which makes the overall fiction process seemingly unfair (and part of the larger category of L.I.F.--Life isn't Fair).

I'm not going to mention any names, but it's true: unless you're Madonna or Oprah or some other superstar, it doesn't matter if you have contacts in the publishing or agent world--it doesn't guarantee that you will get published, let alone seriously considered. It happened to me a couple of times, and it just happened to someone else. They contacted an agent of a successful writer, and they were even referred by that successful writer, but the agent wasn't interested.

If you are considering writing fiction, this is what is required: you have to complete the entire book (unlike non-fiction, where you need an outline, a marketing plan, and a few chapters). Yes, there are some lucky fiction writers who've gotten a deal from a partial manuscript or even a summary, but that's not common.

And you can't just do one draft and then contact an agent (though a few talented people do)--you have to do several drafts. That means working alone, wondering if anyone will ever be interested, and wondering if what you're doing is a waste of time.

Actually, writing isn't a waste of time. Sure, I've written a lot and I'm not yet published, but it's been both enjoyable and challenging. But what's difficult about it is that you could be working in isolation your whole life, and your words will just disappear into the ether. You might have a writing group, but you may never find a larger audience with whom you want to share your creation.

One of the satisfying aspects is writing is knowing that others are receiving it. But writing fiction is sometimes like writing in a cave, where the only response is the echo of your struggle to convey your vision.

I don't know if the person who experienced the recent disappointment feels the same way, but I wouldn't be surprised if other people have had the same experience I have: you train (through classes, writing exercises, writing groups, and reading) and write to the best of your ability to create something (sweating over the words and doing rewrites). You have no editor, no one in the business to let you know if what you're doing is acceptable. You just hope that all the time and energy you've spent will lead to tangible results. But you have no idea if you will see any fruits of your labor, because no one will let you know, except for other hopeful (even misguided) unpublished writers.

And then you get rejected. Not only do you get rejected on what you've created, but they have no interest in anything else you will write. You could say, "I'm working on X now," but they won't care, because they've deemed all your current and potential work as unacceptable.

I haven't been rejected lately, though I might be, because I submitted something somewhere. But at least I've got other things going, including some non-fiction projects, which are satisfying because there is an end to my work--I can see the results. But it doesn't mean that I'm going to give up writing fiction, because it taps into a part of myself that doesn't find an outlet elsewhere, even though teaching is still a creative endeavor.

I just know that whenever I see someone else work diligently, honestly, consistently, and responsibly and then they're shot down, I can relate.


Ethiopian is pretty

I took a cab today and the driver was a friendly, cosmopolitan, refined Ethiopian guy who told me that he spoke four (!) languages. Then he showed me an Ethiopian newspaper, and I was struck by how attractive the script is. The script here is from the Ethiopian Embassy, where there's also an English translation.

Also, my last post about Malaysian was updated because I got a response from Jordan.


Kampongan and hot dogs

At the blog An American Expat in Southeast Asia, he said the Malaysian word "kampongan" means "Malaysian Hillbilly" when he was talking about his hot dog place over there:

Our halal hot dogs and all of our toppings are of the highest quality and should appeal to everyone. We have big juicy beef hot dogs, for those that don't eat beef we offer big mouthwatering chicken hot dogs and for those that like it spicy, we offer chicken jalapeno hot dogs. Everyone has their favourite and we pride ourselves in having a hot dog for everyone. I still have the occasional "kampongan" (Malaysian Hillbilly) wander in and inquire whether or not we are selling dogs, but overall business has been doing great, however the other night I seem to have faced my nemesis.

I did a search for the word, but couldn't find anything (at least in English). I've asked Jordan at Macvaysia about it, so I'll see what he says.

Update: Jordan said:

I suppose kampongan has roughly that meaning, though not precisely. Kampong is the old spelling for 'village' (now spelled kampung). Kampongan would perhaps be a broader term, referring to anything and everything related to a small village, but I think it's a word that is sometimes used to describe someone who can't lose their 'village' attitude.

Not sure if that other blog mentions it, but the word kampong actually---as far as I know---gave us an English word: compound, at least one definition of it. I think it entered English by way of Dutch. Only one meaning of compound comes from kampong: 'a building or buildings, especially a group of buildings, set off and enclosed by a barrier'. What's interesting about this is that another definition of 'compound' entered Malay from English, this time as 'kompaun', which is what you pay when a police officer pulls you over for speeding. Interesting, eh?

Note the Canadianism he used at the end: "eh" (he's Canadian).

It's worth it to know, at least virtually, native English speakers who know Malay so that they can educate us all.



In an ESL class, we were discussing an article about hearing problems among young people via such modern devices as IPods, and I couldn't offer the correct pronunciation of "tinnitus" because I don't think there is one.

According to the American Tinnitus Association, tinnitus is

...the perception of sound in the ears or head where no external source is present...The word comes from Latin and means "to tinkle or to ring like a bell."

In almost all cases, tinnitus is a subjective noise, meaning that only the person who has tinnitus can hear it. Someone with tinnitus often describes it as "ringing in the ears," but people report hearing all kinds of sounds: crickets, whooshing, pulsing, ocean waves, buzzing, even music.

I heard about this problem a while ago, and assumed it was pronounced "ti-NIGH-tus" but when I saw a television report about it, they pronounced it like "TI-nitus" (the first part being pronounced like "tin").

So what's the right pronunciation? No one knows, not even the American Tinnitus Association: "Both pronunciations are correct; the American Tinnitus Association uses ti-NIGHT-us."

I thought finding an audio file at a website would settle the dispute, but there are different approaches to this minor yet confusing word: Mirriam-Webster dictionary pronounces it "TIN-itus" but yourdictionary.com pronounces it "ti-NIGH-tus".

I can see a bunch of nerdy linguistics discussing this word in conferences and in academic journals. I'm not nerdy enough to seek those out or bring up the issue in meetings. So you be the judge.


Arthur is done

The day has arrived when Arthur Chrenkoff will no longer post to his blog.

I mentioned it last month, and I'm bummed out about it again. He is an excellent writer and intelligent thinker (see his explanation of Post-Totalitarian Stress Disorder). It's a shame that he didn't end up in the print media anywhere. If I ran the world, he would be given a well-paid job as a columnist and commentator.

I wish I could name some people who are in those positions and don't deserve them, but I may meet them one day and I don't want to get into trouble. Actually, I have seen a columnist a couple of times in a cafe, sitting right next to me, and I wanted to ask how the heck they got their vapid words published in one of the nation's top newspapers, but I just accepted it as another example of L.I.F. (Life Isn't Fair).

He writes better than most native English speakers, but he didn't know much English when he emigrated to Australia from Poland:

I came to Australia seventeen years ago, knowing maybe 50 English words. I did not expect any "Polish focused" institutions to keep me in a linguistic ghetto; I wanted to learn the language of the land so I could make the most of the opportunities that Australia could offer me. It's the love of books that got me where I am. I'm looking now at an old notebook, where I wrote down all the words that were new to me together with their translation and phonetic pronunciation.

Hopefully he'll keep his archives up at his blog and his Metrofiction page.


They must be envious

Actress Alexis Bledel said: "A lot of girls ask for advice on how to get into acting, and I'm kind of the worst person to ask, because it just kind of fell in my lap ... I was just in the right place at the right time."

I'm glad that I don't want to be an actor or a model, because the luck that she has experienced in both professions is remarkable, which might make me envious. It also must make aspiring actors and models envious.

I found an an article that says:

...there's one big reason why Alexis doesn't take her stardom too seriously: She didn't always dream about becoming an actress. In fact, she says that her career just sort of happened to her. When she was 14, Alexis was discovered at a Houston mall and began modeling. During high school she traveled the world as a model...but it wasn't until her freshman year as a film student at New York University that she went to an open audition on a whim and, with no prior professional acting experience, won her starring role on Gilmore Girls.

Imagine that: you're hanging out in a mall, someone affirms your beauty, and then you're sent around the world to model. And then when you get tired of that, you go to a cool school in an interesting neighborhood in one of the best cities on the planet. Then, when you get tired of studying, you decide to audition for a popular television show, and you immediately get the biggest role.

She even recognizes her fortune: "it wasn't a plan of mine to be an actor. It was just something I considered, and then it kind of happened...So it was fortunate timing in a way because it hasn't been a lifelong passion like it is for so many people. Sometimes I wish I felt that way about it--totally enraptured. At the same time, I think it's a great job. And I appreciate it. I'm content with where I'm at right now."

All those wannabe actors waiting tables, wanting to fulfill their dream, and she's arrived, without suffering to get there, or really being that excited about it. And she has the looks too. Can you believe she's Mexican and Argentinian? She looks Northern European--blue eyes, pale skin, and refined features. And she's also fluently bilingual in Spanish and English--that's great.


Our tomorrow is their today

Via A Guy in Pajamas, I found out that Koizumi won:

LDP Wins Japan Elections; Koizumi Gets Mandate for Postal Sale

Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Japan's Liberal Democratic Party won national elections, giving Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi an extension to his four and a half year term in office and the mandate to sell the state-owned post office, the world's biggest financial institution.

...Koizumi called the elections when the upper house of parliament last month rejected a bill to sell Japan Post, which has the equivalent of $3.2 trillion in savings accounts and insurance policies.

What's cool is the date: September 12. It's still September 11 where I am, and the sun hasn't even set yet. I love the globalness of the Internet.

Arabic on 9-11

Someone asked about Arabic links in a comment, and just as I was going to post them, I realized the irony: today is September 11, when Islamofascists murdered thousands of people in New York and Pennsylvania four years ago.

For some reason, there aren't a lot of good Arabic sites. I guess the Japanese ones are better because the government funds various projects, and there are a number of enthusiastic individuals who are willing to create helpful sites.

There are some basic but cute Arabic exercises at Fun With Arabic and more at Ukindia (an Indian site). They also have information about several other languages on the homepage: Tamil, Gujarati, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit, Bengali, Spanish, Greek, English, Russian, and Hebrew. It's certainly a tossed salad over there.

Other than that, I found information about the Arabic broadcasts that Michael Youssef does. And I even found a free online Arabic Bible (there are several different formats on the left). It's safe--there are no killer planes or bombs in there.


Banas updated

Yesterday, I wasn't in the mood to do a post because I spent quite a long time in front of the computer translating stuff, reading stuff, and updating John Banas' page at the Metrofiction site. He wants feedback, so if you have any, email him at the address on his page.


BBC to the rescue

While searching for a French phrase, I found the BBC Languages site, where they have a lot of useful explanations, activities, videos, audios, forums, and other stuff I can't remember about Spanish, German, French, Italian, and even Portuguese, Greek, and Chinese (in the "other" section). Because German is so scarily hard, I went to the Talk German section, where you can watch, listen, and read excerpts from that television "programme" (British spelling).

They do an excellent job of exposing us online language folks to various cultures and languages. Cheers, BBC!

Kanji flashcards

There are a lot of great Japanese sites on the Internet. The more I study, the more I find. Like this one: Java Kanji Flashcards 500.

Each kanji character is displayed on a "card" containing a large kanji character, its on and kun readings, an English meaning, and a stroke order animation. There are also Kanji compounds (using only the 500 target kanji) with their readings and English meanings. You can choose what is displayed on the "front" and "back" of the card to suit your preferences.

The program has three modes:
1. Browse, which lets you look at all of the cards,
2. Search, which lets you search for a card using English or romaji
3. Drill, which allows you to review a subset of the cards

I wish the German resources would catch up with the Japanese ones.


Rich Canadians

For the record, I love Toronto, and I still have the Canadian flag sticker on my car, right next to my American flag sticker. But one thing that baffles me: if they're not a capitalistic country, how did the Canadians on the Rich 100 list get all that dough? I thought Canada has high taxes and they don't like to encourage runaway profits. I hope they're enjoying all they've got. I guess times aren't tough for Canada, after all.

(I got the link at NYgirl's blog.)


Suspected language

I just saw an article linked at Jon Konrath's blog (read his Rumored journal--it's sometimes vulgar, but it's usually interesting and well-written):

Suspected language seized from PM Shaukat’s plane in Kabul

KABUL: A plane, which was preparing to take back Premier Shaukat Aziz from Afghnistan was evacuated after recovery of suspected language from the plane.

...an unidentified person was aboard with his language and at that time the doors of the plane were closed.

...The entire laguge was brought out of the plane and rechecked.

That last sentence shows that the author of the article almost made it halfway to the correct word.

Out of the fog

Yesterday I talked about the fiction fog I was in. Good thing I didn't write such a post last week, or else it would've been full of a lot of emotional blathering. Amazingly enough, after I officially decided to not work on fiction, the desire to write it has returned.

I was planning on describing the differences between fiction and non-fiction, but right now I sort of don't feel the need to get into it. I mentioned some differences last year, and I have more to add, but at a later time, because I'm in too much of a fiction mood to step outside of it to offer analysis. Plus, it might get me down again to think about how much easier non-fiction is to write.

Since I'm embarking once again on writing fiction, what I have to remember is to remain sincere when I create it; otherwise I'll paint myself into a corner and I'll have to realign my senses to stay on track and finish what I began.


Fiction fog

I was planning on writing a long post about how difficult it is to write fiction and how the process has taken me through every emotion, to the max. But I waited to write about it, because I was in too much of a fiction fog to express myself in anything but a cloud of self pity.

Even though I have some other posts in the wings, I can't avoid writing about the fiction-creating process because I need to let other people know that writing fiction is hard, much more difficult than writing non-fiction.

A while ago, I wrote a novel, and then I started another one, for which I wrote several pages and drafts, but it wasn't solid enough to pursue seriously. So I threw out all the drafts of that second one, still intending to get back to it, and did a substantial amount of a third one. I spent the month of August writing thousands of words, and then hit a wall. I found myself becoming full of despair because I didn't know if what I was writing was sincere or if I was writing it to satisfy Mr. or Ms. Agent (if I ever get around to contacting them). It got to the point where I didn't even know why I was writing--I just wanted to finish the draft and move on to the editing stage. It became mechanical and impersonal and I felt isolated and fearful that what I was doing meant nothing.

There's a lot more I'd like to say about all those fiction-related emotions, but I have to step back from the process to try to understand it and then effectively describe it.

So now I've decided to put aside that project for a week (hopefully at the most) and finish some translations. If I ever get published, I am definitely not going to be one of those aloof writers sitting in my concrete tower. I'd like to write about the process, to let people know what they're up against if they choose to pursue it, and I want to communicate the struggles that don't seem to exist with non-fiction.

I might write about this topic again, because it still seems unresolved.


Daily grammar

I've been getting a grammar point emailed to me every day from Yookoso. When you go to the sign up page, they tell you:

We offer two daily mailing lists - one for grammar and one for kanji. Each of these further has multiple sub-lists which cater to different skill levels. You can sign up for as many or as few as you would like and managing your subscriptions is quite easy - there is a link in every email you will receive. To get started however, there are three separate signup pages:

Sign up for Both mailing list(s)

Sign up for Kanji a Day mailing list(s)

Sign up for Grammar a Day mailing list(s)

Here's part of an example of what you get in your email (it has a pretty format that can't be replicated here):

だけあって (dakeatte)
Meaning: because, as expected (used for positive things)
Example: the food was good as expected

They offer more explanations in English, and several examples such as these:

Impressive as expected from training every day - amazing strength.

That restaurant has a good reputation, and as expected the food and service was great.

Also, the whole page can be viewed on Popjisyo and Rikai, so if you're stressing out about the kanji, you'll be able to read it easily.

At this point, I don't even know if I'm going to pass the test because I looked at some sample tests this past week, and in spite of the reading and studying I've been doing, I didn't know all the vocab. Which means December will be trouble for me.


Tips back

I've reinstated the monthly language learning tip at the Metrolingua homepage. I didn't have one for August because I wanted to feature a link to the Kraftwerk translation I did.

Now that it's September, it means I have to meet a deadline for a submission, finish the draft of a novel I'm working on, and get the results of something I applied for. Either it will be a good month or a disappointing one.