The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, September 05, 2001

T#!$ !$ @ W0R&

Spring, Rob and I went to Stir Crazy in Boca Raton for dinner. And as per the name, they do nothing but stir fry, either pre-selected dishes, or a “roll your own” buffet-type deal where you select everything. The food is good, and as Spring would attest, the Banana-Wanton Drink is to die for. But the decor—the decor bothers me.

Years ago in college, I took a Chinese calligraphy class, and while I can only “read” half a dozen Chinese characters, I do have an understanding of how Chinese characters are written. The reason I bring this up is that the interior of Stir Crazy is overwritten with that looks like Chinese characters, but in reality is some Western artist's rendition of what Chinese characters look like. No attempt was made to make acurate Chinese idiographs at all (and of the few that are real, they are either the simpler four stroke or fewer idiographs, or pure mistakes).

“Those characters,” I said, “are not real.”

“How do you know?” asked Rob.

“They're not real characters. They're nearly random strokes,” I said.

“But how can you tell?” asked Spring.

“By the way the characters are formed. That character there,” I said, pointing to a character with a decidedly circular formation on the wall, “the one with the circular oval about it. Chinese is written with straight strokes, not cicrular ones.”

“So it's misspelled?”

“More like it's meaningless. It'd be as if you wrote words with both random letters and shapes, like a triangle.”


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