Mood: not sure
Topic: "Zounds, Sounds!" (5)
Recently, Frodo spent some time with a friend and business associate, originally from Taiwan, whose family long ago made a new home near the Shire. Frodo has learned a great deal from his friend about parts of Middle Earth where he has never been. The cultural aspects are even more fascinating, thinks he, than the geopolitical. This time they discussed language, and how Chinese has replaced so many "Romance" languages from the curricula in the local schools about the Shire.
There are a limited number of characters in what we would call Chinese, but there are also tonal differences which change meanings significantly. For example, should you, dear reader, say something like "Wang" in a near-falsetto voice, it may be translated as the word "tree." Say the exact same word basso profundo and it may mean "monkey dung." Something in-between could be a reference to the genitalia of the speaker, or not. In any event, to be aware of the "sing-songey" importance of the spoken word almost makes it seem artful to the illiterate listener, aka Frodo.
It is a very old joke to say that Chinese is not really so difficult, simply because there are tens of millions of children who speak it fluently. Frodo thought about this as he listened to a talking head describe the evening news on his black-and-white this evening. The monotonal diatribe centered on the individual, sentenced to three years in an Iraqi jail, who tossed his shoes at the Incomparable Moron when last he visited his personal nation-state. His relatives evidently indicated that the miscreant did not retreat from his dislike for the now FORMER PRESIDENT (Frodo loves constructing those two words). In fact, they alleged, and this dear reader is the crux of our commentary, that the offender actually wished to "xxxx" on the target of his pedestrian ensemble assault.
Frodo glanced up at the screen, and queried Sam as to the missing word.
"Did he say 'spit'?" Ed. Note, it might also have been "sit."
Sam feigned ignorance, but did indicate that had the word been in Chinese, and the tonality was anywhere close to the deep-voiced presentation which Sam heard, then Ole George would've needed several handkerchiefs.
Frodo has a new appreciation for the Chinese language, and he has learned to be prepared to duck whenever he hears it spoken in a deep voice. Secretary of State Clinton need also be advised.