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October 10th, 2014:

Bad air

Time to start wearing the special face masks that filter out the nastiness from the local air.

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Not helpful, brain!

I’ve been focusing on learning Chinese idioms 成語, four-character phrases that have a story behind them. Well-educated Chinese people include these references in their speech. It’s an indicator of education, and the phrases also can express detailed ideas in a succinct manner.

Last night in a dream, I heard a person use an idiom that means “learning something from scratch without any help or reference to how it’s been done before.” What a great idiom! I thought to myself. In my dream, I practiced writing the idiom several times so that I wouldn’t forget it.

And it worked. When I woke up, I still remembered the idiom. I looked for it in my dictionary. It wasn’t there.  Not surprisingly, dreaming of something does not make it become real.

But I still remember this non-existent idiom. And I fear that it’s occupying space in my memory where a real idiom could be stored.

Thanks for nothing, brain.

 

Tshirt English of the Day

“With You With Me”