Word of the Week

Ghosting (n.) the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.

Perhaps you’ve learned that people are ending personal relationships by just disappearing, but I was surprised by a BBC article on a new trend of people leaving their job without communicating to their employer. I understand it can be tough to talk with a overbearing boss, but it’s something a mature person recognizes it’s necessary and actually good for him or her to do as it builds courage.

Again, Japan is featured, but I understand that because until now, in Japan you stayed in a job for life so they aren’t used to having to quit and as a vertical society bosses do have a power that they don’t in the West.

I am more surprised by ghosting in the West. Here’s a passage from the article:

Chris Yoko, who runs a web design company in the US state of Virginia, had a bizarre experience with a contractor who was meant to be completing a digital project from home.

“This guy had just started with us – he seemed like a good fit, seemed like a genuinely good guy. We get him started with a pretty simple project by our standards. He agreed, [but] Thursday comes along – there’s nothing there.”

Multiple emails and phone messages got no response. The man missed another meeting on the project. In the end, amid total silence from the contractor, the work was given to someone else.

A short while later, a man purporting to be a friend of the contractor got in touch via email. He said the man had died in a car accident and requested some tax files that the family needed. But something felt off, so Yoko checked the contractor’s Twitter account.

On social media, it appeared the contractor was very much alive. In fact, he’d just responded to a tweet from a cousin about attending a family gathering.

“He replied to this person with a picture of himself with a handle of whiskey in his hand saying: ‘Not only am I coming but I’m bringing this’,” says Yoko. “I screenshotted that and forwarded it to the guy and said: ‘Hey some good news, looks like he’s just fine!’.”

What do you think of ghosting?

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Word of the Week

Lethologica (n.) the inability to remember a word that’s on the tip of your tongue.

English is so beautifully specific, isn’t it?

Japanese Word of the Week

Zannen – (adj.) regrettable

You often here people sigh and say “zannen” in Japan. It means “that’s regrettable.” Somehow the connotation or culture makes it seem like a better word for healing after a disappointment.

Alas, this week I learned that I didn’t make it to a round of interviews for a job in Japan that pays well and offers great benefits. Japan is a place I would like to return to so it’s disappointing.

They didn’t specify the reason, but as the position is Assistant English Teacher my best guess is that either they don’t want someone who may well have more teaching experience than the teacher or one who’s just “too old.”

Word of the Week

Eucatastrophe: n. the sudden happy turn in a story which pierces you with a joy that brings tears. Coined by J.R.R. Tolkien.

But the ‘consolation’ of fairy-tales has another aspect than the imaginative satisfaction of ancient desires. Far more important is the Consolation of the Happy Ending. Almost I would venture to assert that all complete fairy-stories must have it. At least I would say that Tragedy is the true form of Drama, its highest function; but the opposite is true of Fairy-story. Since we do not appear to possess a word that expresses this opposite — I will call it Eucatastrophe. The eucatastrophic tale is the true form of fairy-tale, and its highest function.

The consolation of fairy-stories, the joy of the happy ending: or more correctly of the good catastrophe, the sudden joyous “turn” (for there is no true end to any fairy-tale): this joy, which is one of the things which fairy-stories can produce supremely well, is not essentially ‘escapist’, nor ‘fugitive’. In its fairy-tale—or otherworld—setting, it is a sudden and miraculous grace: never to be counted on to recur. It does not deny the existence of dyscatastrophe, of sorrow and failure: the possibility of these is necessary to the joy of deliverance; it denies (in the face of much evidence, if you will) universal final defeat and in so far is evangelium, giving a fleeting glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief.

It is the mark of a good fairy-story, of the higher or more complete kind, that however wild its events, however fantastic or terrible the adventures, it can give to child or man that hears it, when the “turn” comes, a catch of the breath, a beat and lifting of the heart, near to (or indeed accompanied by) tears, as keen as that given by any form of literary art, and having a peculiar quality.

Retrieved from Tolkien Gateway at http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Eucatastrophe