[conspire] NYLXS Press Release on the OLPC Project

Nick Moffitt nick at zork.net
Thu May 1 08:37:33 PDT 2008

Ruben Safir:
> Slice it and dice it as you wish but the word Jihad never has the
> innocuous meaning such as you described.  

No, really.  It does.  Would you say that "struggle" only has violent
connotations in English, because of radical left-wing organizations
constantly beating the pulpit about "the worker's struggle"?

> While in English we have adapted, for example, the word "Kamakzi", it
> always has the connotation of fanatical pursuit, sometimes adopted
> tounge in cheek.  

The word "kamikaze (神風)" in Japanese just means a typhoon, but is
roughly equivalent to "zephyr" if literally translated.  It just means
"divine wind", and using it to mean suicide attacks is outright
confusing to anyone who isn't familiar with the American focus on the
WWII code name.

This is as if we found that Iraqis were using the English word "Storm"
to refer to the American bombing of innocents in residential
neighborhoods, based on tales of what happened during Operation Desert

In Japan, the kamikaze is more famous for being actual storms that sunk
a number of invading fleets several centuries ago.

"If, as they say, God spanked the town                        Nick Moffitt
for being over frisky,                                       nick at zork.net
why did He burn the churches down
and save Hotaling's whisky?" -- 1906 SF Earthquake rhyme

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