The Great Passage

Lesson 24 Chapter 5 Module 3

Today’s lesson is our second fiction excerpt, and has an interesting backstory.

It’s actually a translation. Of a Japanese novel. About the arduous task of creating the most comprehensive Japanese dictionary ever created.

It’s a lot of dialogue between the Professor and Majime (the employee hired to work with the Professor on this new magnum opus) about what they will do after the dictionary is released.

As Kory Stamper noted earlier this week, in Day 8’s English is Not a Fortress lesson, words are fluid and adaptable.

So have you ever stopped to think about the intense pressure the creators of the dictionary go through whenever they publish a new edition?

They are essentially publishing something that will be obsolete the moment they mark the project complete!

But this excerpt is selected to end our week of study on language for another, more important reason.

Words have power.

No one knows this better than the people who are charged with creating the use and definition for them, and that is really what this conversation is about.

The power these two are about to unleash onto the Japanese culture, and what that means.

I leave that thought with you as you pop over for your final copywork excerpt this week.

Words have power.

What are the words you choose saying?

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