Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Yes to scrolls, no to codex

A codex (Latin caudex for "trunk of a tree" or block of wood, book; plural codices) is a book in the format used for modern books, with multiple quires or gatherings (sheets of paper or vellum in multiples of two which are folded and stitched through) typically bound together and given a cover. - from Codex Wikipedia

I cannot count the times I've had to listen to bus or train people - people who I've never met, people whose opinion I haven't sought and people who I haven't even made eye contact with - say something along the lines of:

"I see you are reading a Kindle. I love to read but I would never read a book on a Kindle; I like the smell of books the feel of the paper I just couldn't read a Kindle".

I've use a semi-colon to punctuate for readability, but it is invariably breathed rather than spoken, in one continuous contiguous rollout of words.

I usually answer with a sentence, because at least on public transport I'm quite a nice person. But lately I'm more likely to not to reply with a nod or a grunt, burying my face in my Kindle.

So yesterday I answered with, "Well yes, they said that about scrolls when books came in. They said, 'But I love the feel of scrolls, I could NEVER like a book; it wouldn't be the same thing. I don't like the thought of PAGES. I just HAVE to SCROLL.'" She looked back at at me blankly. I think she thought I was speaking in a foreign language. Either that or I that was from another planet. As for the latter, I am inclined to agree ...

Talking about books ... well about language, yesterday someone commented on one of my posts - Tooth, Justice and the American Way - which, as you can imagine, was about American dentists. I quote verbatim,
It is the first time I visit Antalya with my family and my brother got accident and had a pain in his tooth. He is not able to sleep whole night due to pain. I am here looking for dentist who can cure his tooth ache. If anyone knows any professional dentist who also knows English well, please suggest me. Thanks.

Now I understand that it is pretty pretty pretty hard to write in a foreign language. But why on earth would anyone whose grasp of the English language is so poor that,

a: they didn't understand the post, and
b: they can't even construct a sentence in English that is even just halfway correct

want a dentist who speaks English "well".

And in any case, where the hell is Antalya? See I AM acclimating to the 'American way"!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am afraid you will need to wear a catcher's mask on the bus if you continue to make scroll references and reply to inquisitive strangers!

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