House of Godzilla

Regular readers will know that I am one of those annoying chaps who mercilessly wrings language errors of all possible implications, rather than doing the polite thing and allowing them to pass without comment. But, regular readers, Ri assure rou that I am a level 20 Tact Elemental compared to "Rudyard" and his Gojira no yakata (誤字等の館, "house of Godzilla/mistaken characters").

Take, f'rex, his recent examination of 嫌顔でも (iyagao demo, "even with a face expressing displeasure"), which as I write this returns 7,390 Google hits, only a few of which seem to be meta-commentary like the linked page.

The short version: it is an eggcorn of 否が応でも (iya ga ō demo, literally perhaps "even if 'no' is 'yes'," idiomatically "whether yes or no" → "no matter what"; see also 否でも応でも). Rudyard covers not only this, and various related topics, he also digresses at length on the phrase 弥が上にも (iya ga ue ni mo, "even more"), which sounds somewhat similar to iya ga ō demo and is apparently often confused with it.

Other examples chosen more or less at random:

  • トレビアの泉 (torebia no izumi) — should be トリビアの泉 (toribia [Trivia] no izumi); error probably caused by confusing surrounding the original pun on Trevi (torebi) Fountain, plus leakage from the French très bien &rarr torebian.
  • 申し訳け mōshiwake — extraneous け makes your apology look carelessly thrown together and therefore insincere.
  • 少しづつ sukoshi zutsu — づ instead of ず, evidence of non-acceptance or non-understanding of modern kana rules, under which this kind of thing would only be possible if つつ were an independent word (which it isn't).

Confession: I am actually guilty of that last one. The cause in my case is non-acceptance, rooted in an almost incontrollable orthographic foppery.

Popularity factor: 3


That's a nice list of common errors. The one that really got me was 曖昧. Of course, I have long since been ワープロバカ, and have never been able to write Japanese decently by hand, so I don't make many of these mistakes because the wapuro software is usually pretty smart. Of course if I ever had to write by hand I would be worse than an elementary school student...


Of course, 'tis the season for misusing the apostrophe:

Google hits


Very interesting site. There were more than a few that made me smile: "シュミレーション" is certainly one of those.


Surely that apostrophe is like the one in "ha'penny"? You know, it's short for Xristmas.

Derek: Yeah, that's one of those ones I would basically just give up on writing without henkan to hold my hand. I can dish it out, but I can't take it.

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