Ther thou shalt here many oon

Last week’s “new news portal” post aroused a lot of excitement, but for my money Patrick hit on the key issue in comment #1: what’s with the name?

Their “about” page explains that, yeah, it really is arata ni su as in Old Japanese for what would today be atarashiku suru, make new. Nothing says “bold step into the future” like verb forms that went out of fashion centuries ago.

(It’s still not clear whether we romaji users have permission to spell it “aratanisu” like sensible folk or whether we are expected to use the spelling in their domain name, “allatanys”, which seems to have journeyed here from a parallel universe in which a joint Italian-Danish committee had the final say on romanizing Japanese.)

Anyway, I thought some readers might be interested this Global Voices Online post linking to and translating comments on the issue from Japanese bloggers. (Pardon the new thread, but the old one seems to have drifted a bit.)

February 3, 2008

3 Responses

  1. Mulboyne Says:

    When the Shukan Diamond reported on the joint website plan back in September, it was part of a larger piece on the crisis facing the newspaper industry. The writers pointed out that usually such a title refers to some kind of issue with journalist ethics but this time it was specifically about a structural problem with the economics of the industry. In particular it detailed the collapse of the home distribution model and highlighted recent cases of illegal sales tactics. Inevitably, the web was cited as the main threat both in terms of providing an alternative way of accessing news and the growing use of keitai during commutes.

    The lack of decent archiving on the new site is a pain.

    Incidentally, there was a recent court judgement which has serious ramifications for local newspapers:

    I can only assume that the reason local newspapers have an agreement not to cite newswires as the source for their articles is that they use them so frequently it would become apparent to readers that their local rag had turned into a newswire aggregator.

  2. W. David MARX Says:

    I think it’s a bit hypocritical for Neojaponisme staff members to not like the futuristic use of old things/grammars.

  3. Matt Says:

    I’m just jealous because I never get paid to name things in OJ.