Chinese Word of the Day: 丑八怪
(chou3 ba1 guai4 literally “ugly like eight monsters”) = deformed, ugly person, wretch
Classes are over for the term. We invigilated (Don’t you just love that word? It sounds so much more scholarly than “supervised”.) the exit tests earlier this week. That was not hard work, and we were paid extra for it. Our only complaint is that the classroom where we had to do the oral assessments, seeing each student for ten minutes during which we asked ten questions, was colder than a well diggers ankles. By the time I was on the last student of the morning, I could barely hold a pen in my hand. Anyway, that’s over now. All my end of term paperwork has been submitted. We’re free until the beginning of March. Winter holiday time. Yipeeee.
I have been decompressing, and can finally start paying attention to neglected site maintenance. For example, one of the efforts of which I am most proud on this site is my posts about how to see (please note, how to see, not how to read) Chinese characters. But I’ve known for a couple of years that there was a problem with that post.
Since many people don’t have their Chinese language turned on in their computer control panel, I created all the graphic characters and uploaded them separately. But then I found that they only looked good on Internet Explorer. On any other browser – Google Chrome, Firefox – the graphics were clipped and in some cases gone altogether. So I put a notice (which nobody reads) on the post explaining this and suggesting viewing in IE. I intended to fix the problem, sooner or later, but expected to have to redo all those graphics, a daunting task, hence the years of procrastination.
Last night I finally got around to investigating the situation and found that I could just correct the existing graphics. That was still tedious work, and took me hours, but at least I could get it done. I now have a tension headache from my neck and shoulders, but all four parts of the post have been updated. Whew.
In the process I discovered how many Chinese characters I had learned, written about, and then forgotten. Some of them are delightful. Like the Chinese word for slot machine, “eat dimes tiger’. How could I have forgotten that.
If you haven’t checked out my introduction to seeing Chinese words, please take a look now. If you can get past my first paragraph you might find it entertaining. And as always, I live for your comments.
Time to get on the elliptical trainer and work out this tension headache. It will be gone by the time I do my 30 minutes I’m sure.