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Old 10-10-2017, 10:34 AM  
Dinny Bossa Nova Dinny Bossa Nova is offline
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Once Upon A Time, An Old Chinese Guy Said

"May you live in interesting times."

I think it's cooler than hell the old fart could speak English. I mean, Rosetta Stone wuddn't even born yet.

The guy was clearly ahead of his time.

Dinny
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Old 10-10-2017, 11:56 AM   #2
T-post Tom T-post Tom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinny Bossa Nova View Post
"May you live in interesting times."

I think it's cooler than hell the old fart could speak English. I mean, Rosetta Stone wuddn't even born yet.

The guy was clearly ahead of his time.

Dinny
I liked it when Donald Sutherland said that in "Disclosure".

BTW, probably not said by a Chinese guy....


Origins

Despite being widely attributed as a Chinese curse, there is no equivalent expression in Chinese.[2] The nearest related Chinese expression is "寧為太平犬,莫做亂離人" (nng wi tipng quǎn, m zu lun l rn), which is usually translated as "Better to be a dog in a peaceful time, than to be a human in a chaotic (warring) period."[3] The expression originates from Volume 3 of the 1627 short story collection by Feng Menglong, Stories to Awaken the World.

Evidence that the phrase was in use as early as 1936 is provided in a memoir written by Hughe Knatchbull-Hugessen, the British Ambassador to China in 1936 and 1937, and published in 1949. He mentions that before he left England for China in 1936, a friend told him of a Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times."

Frederic Ren Coudert, Jr. also recounts having heard the phrase at the time:

Some years ago, in 1936, I had to write to a very dear and honoured friend of mine, who has since died, Sir Austen Chamberlain, brother of the present Prime Minister, and I concluded my letter with a rather banal remark "that we were living in an interesting age". Evidently he read the whole letter, because by return mail he wrote to me and concluded as follows: "Many years ago I learned from one of our diplomats in China that one of the principal Chinese curses heaped upon an enemy is, 'May you live in an interesting age.'" "Surely", he said, "no age has been more fraught with insecurity than our own present time." That was three years ago.


The "Chamberlain Curse"?

Research by philologist Garson O'Toole shows a probable origin in the mind of Austen Chamberlain's father Joseph Chamberlain dating around the late-19th and early 20th centuries. Specifically, O'Toole cites the following statement Joseph made during a speech in 1898:

I think that you will all agree that we are living in most interesting times. (Hear, hear.) I never remember myself a time in which our history was so full, in which day by day brought us new objects of interest, and, let me say also, new objects for anxiety. (Hear, hear.) [emphasis added]

From this it is likely that the Chamberlain family may have inadvertently transmitted a folk etymology by expanding Joseph Chamberlain's use of the concept to refer to some Chinese curse.

The phrase is again described as a "Chinese curse" in an article published in Child Study: A Journal of Parent Education in 1943.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_yo...eresting_times
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Last edited by T-post Tom; 10-10-2017 at 12:54 PM..
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Old 10-10-2017, 02:55 PM   #3
Dinny Bossa Nova Dinny Bossa Nova is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-post Tom View Post
I liked it when Donald Sutherland said that in "Disclosure".

BTW, probably not said by a Chinese guy....


Origins

Despite being widely attributed as a Chinese curse, there is no equivalent expression in Chinese.[2] The nearest related Chinese expression is "寧為太平犬,莫做亂離人" (nng wi tipng quǎn, m zu lun l rn), which is usually translated as "Better to be a dog in a peaceful time, than to be a human in a chaotic (warring) period."[3] The expression originates from Volume 3 of the 1627 short story collection by Feng Menglong, Stories to Awaken the World.

Evidence that the phrase was in use as early as 1936 is provided in a memoir written by Hughe Knatchbull-Hugessen, the British Ambassador to China in 1936 and 1937, and published in 1949. He mentions that before he left England for China in 1936, a friend told him of a Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times."

Frederic Ren Coudert, Jr. also recounts having heard the phrase at the time:

Some years ago, in 1936, I had to write to a very dear and honoured friend of mine, who has since died, Sir Austen Chamberlain, brother of the present Prime Minister, and I concluded my letter with a rather banal remark "that we were living in an interesting age". Evidently he read the whole letter, because by return mail he wrote to me and concluded as follows: "Many years ago I learned from one of our diplomats in China that one of the principal Chinese curses heaped upon an enemy is, 'May you live in an interesting age.'" "Surely", he said, "no age has been more fraught with insecurity than our own present time." That was three years ago.


The "Chamberlain Curse"?

Research by philologist Garson O'Toole shows a probable origin in the mind of Austen Chamberlain's father Joseph Chamberlain dating around the late-19th and early 20th centuries. Specifically, O'Toole cites the following statement Joseph made during a speech in 1898:

I think that you will all agree that we are living in most interesting times. (Hear, hear.) I never remember myself a time in which our history was so full, in which day by day brought us new objects of interest, and, let me say also, new objects for anxiety. (Hear, hear.) [emphasis added]

From this it is likely that the Chamberlain family may have inadvertently transmitted a folk etymology by expanding Joseph Chamberlain's use of the concept to refer to some Chinese curse.

The phrase is again described as a "Chinese curse" in an article published in Child Study: A Journal of Parent Education in 1943.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_yo...eresting_times
Oh.

Dinny
Posts: 4,393
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