Scribe, ut possis cum voles dicere: dices cum velle debebis (Pl. Ep. 6.29)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

No Nukes, part 3

In a bold marketing move Microsoft announced that it will release a portable digital music player called "Fucking".

That's right - the meaning of the word "Zune" (זיון) in Hebrew is "fucking". Imagine, if you will, this dialog:

— "Hello, i'd like to buy Microsoft Fucking for my grandson. How much is it?"

— "Let's see ... 689.95 NIS for the Fucking Device ... 59.95 NIS for a monthly subscription to Microsoft® Fucking Music Service™ - it's pretty good, you can listen to Weezer, Beck and David Byrne ... and you also need to sign an agreement stating that you know that if your grandson tries to crack Microsoft® Fucking Crap™, you will be automatically fucked - i mean, sued."

— "Fuck."

Oh (edit): Did anyone get the Weezer, Beck and David Byrne joke?


Anonymous said...

Be fair: "fuck" in Hebrew is pronounce zee-yoon.
Remember the "Ziunomat" at Basmach??? :D

By the way - would you like to comment on the purpose of me typing in the warped letters on screen when I want to send you a comment? What exactly does it do?

Amir said...

It took me a while to recall what the Ziunomat is, but i finally did.

That was indeed some zee-yoon.

If dune would be דיון and tune would be טיון, then zune is זיון. Do you have a better proposal? זון is the Hebrew translation of the Seinfeldian mimbo, which is not much better. Microsoft are zuning themselves in the foot and i am very pleased about it - for many reasons, which i won't detail here.

The warped letters are called "CAPTCHA" or, in simpler language, "Word verification" and their purpose is to check that you are not a robot. I can cancel it and then i will get much more comments, but most of them will be advertising for V1agr&.

Just for fun - when i type a comment i put those letters into the comment too, like this:


Anonymous said...

On the other hand, you've got "rune" and "June" ...


Amir said...

I went over the alphabet too, but didn't want to bother you with phonology, which i am not so good at at the first place, but since you asked for it ...

The sounds of 'j' and 'r' are fundamentally different from 't' and 'd', so different things happen to them in the same environment (/.une/). 't' and 'd' are "alveolar plosive"s, while 'r' (ɹ) is an "alveolar approximant" and 'j' (dʒ) is "post-alveolar affricate". And the 'z' is in between them all - an "alveolar fricative". See table at Wikipedia/English language.

Also, most people don't realize the huge differences between the way the words are actually pornounced, the way they are written in their original tongue and the way they are transliterated into other languages. It's quite amazing, but most of the people i know can't tell the difference between the concepts of "language" and "writing" or betwee "letter" and "sound" - let alone the meaning of something inherently complicated like transliteration.

Back to the main topic: Since 'z' is, as i said, in between all the other sounds, i obviously had to pick the silliest option, so i went for זיון.

The main point of that entry was to make you watch the Crap video.


Anonymous said...

I cen't believe you took that seriously ...


Amir said...

Don't ask Aharoni about linguistics, unless you want a reply. Ya mama.

Did you watch the Crap video? It's really important that you do.