Archive for September, 2010


• Monday, September 20th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'neyu'.


  • (n.) sea urchin

Owe! Ka olomo ei i neyu!
“Ow! I stepped on a sea urchin!”

Notes: Yeah. I done that. It’s not really a big deal if you figure it out quick. It’s only if you really put your full weight on it that you get the poison.

Today’s word has an iku of an altogether new type. In order to save room, I lumped all hikuiku together, but there are many different types. There are a series of hikuiku that are composed of two iku where the first iku is the first syllable of the word, and the second iku is a kind of determinative. It’s either some basic glyph that characterizes the word (e.g. the glyph for “bird” is used for bird words), or resembles its shape or type in some way.

The iku for neyu, then, begins with the syllabic glyph for ne, to give the reader a clue as to how the word is pronounced, and ends with the iku for “circle” (i.e. luku). There are a whole bunch of words like this, but, as far as I know, this is the first one to show up on the Word of the Day blog, so I decided to make a big production out of it.

(Watching The Gay Divorcee right now. It’s a good one! You know, most of the time Ginger Rogers looks kind of goofy, but in this scene, she’s hot.)


• Sunday, September 19th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'kolu'.


  • (v.) to be dark
  • (adj.) dark
  • (n.) darkness

U ono kawi kolu…
“Dark clouds above…”

Notes: Ugly day for football. Cal lost its first game of the season yesterday to Nevada, killing their hopes of getting into a BCS game this season (I mean, unless they win the PAC-10, which seems unlikely, given the fact they lost to Nevada…). And to add insult to injury, I went 2-3 with my predictions last week! Yikes!

Here’s a summary:

Week 1

  • Atlanta 27 Pittsburgh 19
  • New York Giants 33 Carolina 23
  • Green Bay 45 Philadelphia 12
  • New York Jets 21 Baltimore 18
  • San Diego 37 Kansas City 14

In a stroke of good luck, though, I won my first fantasy game of the season against Tsketar’s Skyraiders (owned by the inventor of Skerre, Doug Ball) by a single point. We’ll see how I fare this week against the best team in the league.

Here are my predictions for this week (I need a 5-0 week to get back to where I darn well should be!):

Week 2

  • Green Bay 48 Buffalo 12
  • Denver 24 Seattle 21
  • New York Jets 28 New England 27
  • Indianapolis 37 New York Giants 23
  • New Orleans 31 San Francisco 22


• Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'kanaka'.


  • (n.) animal
  • (adj.) animal (bestial; used to describe something that is animal in nature)
  • (v.) to be natural (said of beings)

Mata ia iu ipe kanaka!
“Look at those animals!”

Notes: Today’s post is an advertisement for Sylvia Sotomayor’s Kēlen Word of the Day blog, because…man! Take a look at this post!

Reluctant to click? Let me list just some of the animals Sylvia has taken pictures of in Australia:

  • Bats
  • Koalas
  • Penguins
  • Sea Lions
  • Tree Frogs

And there are more. And they’re all on the same page! There are some incredible shots there. Let me tell you, this didn’t make my day: It made my month. (And I didn’t even mention the hopping kangaroo!)

So, yeah. Head over there. I promise you, you will not be disappointed. (And if you are, this animal fanatic doesn’t want to hear about it.)

This iku is a strange one, because I’m certain I had a reason for designing it the way I did, but what that reason is completely escapes me. The word, of course, is based on the Hawaiian word kanaka, which means “man”. Perhaps it was an inside joke that the iku is built off the glyph for hopoko, the Kamakawi word for “man”.

Anyway, let’s think about this. There’s a little notch on the right side which means…something. And then a slash through the leg. I think my original idea was to draw a connection between humans an animals, which is why this iku is built off hopoko. As for the notch and the slash… I get the impression that the slash is supposed to be a claw of some kind. I don’t know. It’s a puzzle. Anyway, there it is. What, what, rah-ther, and all that.

It’s all right to have some mysteries in one’s writing systems, so long as there aren’t too many (I mean true mysteries, not just etymologies that have been lost to one’s imagined speakers). With Kamakawi’s system, I think there’s just the right amount.

Now, to bed! Or…water first, then bed! And teeth brushing… Something or other.


• Friday, September 17th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'lipo'.


  • (n.) box, trunk

Oku li ei i ia tou e toku i lipo oku!
“You can’t put me in a box!”


And here’s a picture of Keli in a box:

Keli in her box.

She’s rather fond of this little box. She has several boxes she’s rather fond of, in fact.

Speaking of boxes, I found another fun blog tester the other day: The Typealyzer. This one takes your blog and gives you a Meyers-Brigg type. For those unfamiliar with the MBTI, it’s one of those psychological instruments/theories that gains a lot of notoriety and is highly valued for a time, and then totally rejected and abandoned later on, only to wind up on Facebook and internet fora even later (and, one assumes, t-shirts). These things come and go (like the Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences thing), and seem to hold the most sway with those who understand them the least.

For their intended purpose, these theories are about as useful as an astrological reading, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad. After all, there’s nothing wrong with information: It’s one does with it, and how (and when) one interacts with it. My grandfather, a psychologist, once told me that the trick with all these things (the Myers-Brigg, the Rorschach test, dream analysis, etc.) is not to use them as measurements. It’s not as if someone saying that Card 1 of the Rohrschach looks like a mask means that they have an Oedipus complex, or anything like that. The point of these tests is to get people talking. The only tool a psychologist has is conversation. Dreaming of a fish flopping around on dry land doesn’t mean anything in any real sense, but if a patient thinks it means something, or if it reminds the patient of something else…hey, they’re talking! And that’s the point.

Back to this thing, I love personality tests, because it’s so easy to read their descriptions and either decide that they reflect one’s inner persona, or that they don’t. The descriptions are universal enough that they fit everyone at some point in time, and how appropriate one feels they are is indicative more of how one is feeling at that moment than anything else.

So the Typealyzer has pegged me as an ISTP. That is, I’m the italicized elements in the following pairs:

  • Extroverted | Introverted
  • Sensing | Intuitive
  • Thinking | Feeling
  • Judgmental | Perceptive

Imagine that! Me? An introvert?! I don’t think so, son!

According to the Typealyzer, folks like the writer of this blog “enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.” Ha, ha! Yeah, not me.

You know, back in high school when I took this the first time, I came out as INTJ. Awhile back when this thing went around Facebook, I came out as ENTP. And I just took the test again, and I came out as ENFJ. You know what that means? In my lifetime, I have officially been everything. That’s right: I’m an introverted extrovert who senses things intuitively, preferring to feel myself thinking about my perceived judgments. I am everything. I am I!

Hee, hee… I’m surprised something like this hasn’t worked its way into Sathir yet. Maybe when I return to that language. (I got big plans…)


• Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'matipakiwi'.


  • (n.) succulent (the plant)

Takoikoi ipe matipakiwi i teli.
“That succulent looks like a flower.”

Notes: So here’s where I was going with the last two posts:


I took the picture above at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in San Marino California. The Huntington is an immense estate that used to be the private residence of a wealthy family, and is now a private research center that houses botanical gardens and art collections open to the public. The gardens are extraordinary, as are there public collections. This past time I took pictures and decided to incorporate them into the Kamakawi Word of the Day just so folks who don’t live in Southern California can get a chance to see some of what’s housed there.

This picture comes from their succulent garden which has some of the most wild and outrageous succulents and cacti I’ve ever seen. This is just the tip of the iceberg (incidentally, doesn’t this plant kind of look like a head of iceberg lettuce?). So, if nothing else, you’ve got a few weeks of fine pictures ahead of you here. :)


• Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'kiwi'.


  • (n.) juice
  • (v.) to juice
  • (adj.) juicing, juicy

A kiwi iko nuali ima!
“This melon is really juicy!”

Notes: Today I lament my lost watermelon. See, I had a watermelon. And then I ate it. Now I’m without watermelon. This makes me sad. :(

Today seems like a good day for a nice, juicy melon. Kind of hot and windless…

But look at me talking about melons when I should be talking about juice! I thought this was a good phonological for “juicy”. It’s a very squishy sequence, kiwi. Or perhaps that’s English’s phonaesthetics influencing me… Or the lovable kiwi fruit, of which I’m fond.

But, of course, the kiwi fruit was named after the adorable little bird of the same name. Here’s one perched in a nest:

Kiwi bird.

It’s a good day whenever you can look at a picture of a kiwi.


• Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'matipa'.


  • (n.) fern

Au matai matipa.
“Ferns are pretty.”

Notes: They kind of are. Check this out:


(That image is by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos via the ol’ GFDL license.)

I have nothing else to say about ferns. I never really thought about them much, but they’re right smart plants. I approve of them.

As you can see, this word is a hikuiku, which is the case with a lot of native trisyllabic words. We’ll see more and more of these after all the foma are presented…many years in the future.


• Monday, September 13th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'fupo'.


  • (v.) to be old
  • (adj.) old
  • (n.) old person, septuagenarian

Ei i eine fupo poe hame i femowoive ua kapa ulili.
“I am an old one of 66-100 years.”


It, of course, is not really my birthday, but thanks to a comment from Rejistania, I’ve learned a remarkable fact that is sure to enrich my life: The Kamakawi Word of the Day blog is most likely written by a woman who is 66-100 years old.

How, you might ask? Thanks to a site called Go there, give it the url to a blog, and it analyzes the most recent ten posts and gives you a number of interesting facts about them. For example, it also tries to tell you how likely it is that the author will be happy or upset. For the KWotD blog, it’s 50-50, apparently, but they still pegged me as happy, and I can dig that.

Really, though, what I must do is secure my status as a 66-100 year old woman. I figured using the word “septuagenarian” was a start. In addition, the KWotD will now be devoted mostly to antiquing (hey, here’s another 66-100 year old word: antiquarian). I shall also endeavor to, as nearly as possible, utilize the phrase “mind your manners” and the sobriquet “dearie” as frequently as possible. If this thing tried to attach a region to you, I’d also start using “sugar pie” and “sister woman” to see if I could get pegged as an aged Southern belle!

Needless to say, this is a fantastic turn of events. I now have an ultimate purpose with this blog. And as god as my witness, I shall never pass for male or under 66-100 again!

Anyway, as nearly as my poor, addled brain can recall, I came up with this iku while I was in the powder room applying lip rouge and adjusting my bustle. It’s a simple ikunoala (a rather straightforward combination of fu and po), and doesn’t look a jot like the concept “old” to this daughter of the American Revolution. Nevertheless, I do declare that it is right proper, as such things go. By and by I’ve grown accustomed to its likeness. Why, now I reckon I couldn’t imagine having it appear any other way.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back either to my knitting, my crocheting, or my needlework. Back when I was a girl, my mother made all our skirts and blouses out of used burlap sacks and shoe leather. Of course, that was during the war, and we all had to do what we could for our boys Over There. Mercy me, how the time does fly…


• Sunday, September 12th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'takeaya'.


  • (v.) to be ready, to be prepared
  • (adj.) ready, prepared
  • (n.) readiness, preparedness

Ai takeaya ia i iumi futupala?
“Are you ready for some football?”

Notes: The NFL season is upon us! Indeed, in ten hours, the first games will kick off (well, aside from the game on Thursday, but that was more of a preview). This may not mean much to those outside the United States, but here, it’s a big deal. The Super Bowl is an unofficial holiday, and I think it’s safe to say that football has overtaken baseball as the modern national pastime.

Every year I make preseason picks for the playoffs, so for fun, I thought I’d post them here. (It’s true there’s been one game, but I made these in an e-mail to Doug Ball before the season started, so they still count.) Here goes:


  • AFC East Champ: New York Jets
  • AFC North Champ: Baltimore Ravens
  • AFC South Champ: Indianapolis Colts
  • AFC West Champ: San Diego Chargers
  • AFC Wild Card 1: Cincinnati Bengals
  • AFC Wild Card 2: Houston Texans


  • NFC East Champ: Dallas Cowboys
  • NFC North Champ: Minnesota Vikings
  • NFC South Champ: New Orleans Saints
  • NFC West Champ: San Francisco 49ers
  • NFC Wild Card 1: Green Bay Packers
  • NFC Wild Card 2: New York Giants

Super Bowl Minnesota Vikings over the New York Jets

To be honest, I’m not feeling too good about the Vikings anymore. Favre looked terrible on Thursday. I can see flipping the Packers and Vikings in my predictions above and then see Packers or Saints in the Super Bowl. We’ll see, though.

Today’s word has a socio-historical origin. Take, of course, is a prefix, but Aya is just a name. The word is coined after a very famous Aya: An ancient Kamakawi chief. In battle and in deliberations she was always one step ahead of her adversaries, and so to be like her meant to be prepared—ready for anything—kind of the way that “maverick” in English came to characterize people who kind of steamroll ahead with their own ideas, no matter what anyone else thinks, for ill or ought.

Now, to finish off, here are some Sunday predictions (we’ll see how I do picking some Sunday games and the Monday Night game for the rest of the season):

Week 1

  • Atlanta 27 Pittsburgh 19
  • New York Giants 33 Carolina 23
  • Green Bay 45 Philadelphia 12
  • New York Jets 21 Baltimore 18
  • San Diego 37 Kansas City 14


• Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'po'u'.


  • (v.) to act, to do
  • (v.) to move, to go (as in, “It’s your turn! Go!”)
  • (n.) action, doing stuff

Po’u ia i toyuku noto.
“Do something cool.”

Notes: One of my favorite new bands, the Arcade Fire, came out with this cool new interactive video for their song “We Used to Wait” (from their new album The Suburbs). You can give it a try here. Basically it asks you for the address of the home you grew up in, and then uses Google-something-or-other to include images of the address you gave it in the video. (One might try out famous addresses to see what they look like!)

Anyway, at some other point in the video, they ask you to create a postcard to send to your young self. I couldn’t think of anything, so I came up with this:

Postcard from the Arcade Fire interactive video for 'We Used to Wait'.

I couldn’t think of a message to include, so I wrote, “Do something cool” (after all, who doesn’t want to do something cool?). Then I drew what I thought was a charming fishy, a little heart, and I tried to draw a rabbit, but I ran out of time (you only have so much time to fill out the postcard). Anyway, I thought it was cool, and thought others might enjoy giving it a whirl, if they haven’t already.

This iku is a standard ikunoala: a combination of the syllabic glyphs for po and hu. It’s a blue collar iku, if there ever was one.