JOK Notebook

That's the Spirit

I'm always trying to show you just what I love about kanji, but this week that happened in reverse. (How appropriate; I've just written an essay on 遡, which is about going in reverse!) 

I received a handwritten letter (a rare pleasure!) from Lonnie Wiig, who edited Crazy for Kanji. ...

READ MORE
On Deck

Essay 2051 on 遡 (going upstream) Is Coming Next

Here's what you can expect soon on Joy o' Kanji:

September 19: Essay 2051 on 遡 (going upstream; retracing the past)

That represents a change of plan! 

READ MORE
What's New

Essay 1836 on 抹 (to rub away) Is Now Out

The 138th essay has posted! Essay 1836 on 抹 (to rub away, erase; to paint) is now available for purchase. Here's a preview:

Find out everything you've wanted to know about matcha (powdered green...

READ MORE
JOK Notebook

Measure of a Life

You probably know the common words 時計 (とけい: watch) and 計画 (けいかく: plan). Both include 計, which can mean "plan" and "to compute," also serving as a suffix meaning "measuring instrument."

Henshall breaks down 計 as "words" (言) + "10" (十), initially meaning "to count in 10s" and later coming to mean just...

READ MORE
What's New

Essay 1970 on 俺 (I, me (for men)) Is Now Out

The 137th essay has posted! Essay 1970 on 俺 (I, me (for men)) is now available for purchase. Here's a preview:

Some sources call 俺 rough, arrogant, vulgar, and disagreeable. Others say it is informal...

READ MORE