Archive for the ‘I’ Category


• Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'i'avava'.


  • (n.) feast
  • (v.) to have a feast

I’avava uia eyana!
“Have a good feast!”

Notes: Have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone who’s having Thanksgiving! :D I’m enjoying a great one today. If you’re not celebrating Thanksgiving, then have a splendid non-holiday! :D Hopefully you eat something nice today. :)


• Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Glyph of the word 'ipo'.


  • (v.) to point
  • (adj.) pointing

Ka ipo lea i’i!
“He pointed at me!”

Notes: Today’s iku is an ikunoala, but you’ll notice that it’s not quite straightforward. Similar to ula, where the la had to be flipped to fit on the u, here the i had to be flipped to look like iti in order to fit in the iku for po. And thus we have the iku for ipo.


• Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'ilo'.


  • (n.) oar (of a boat)

Au utu ilo o eneta.
“The oars of the ship are broken.”

Notes: Yesterday’s word was iloa, which is right next to today’s word alphabetically, so I thought I’d throw it up. Nothing special about oars, I suppose—or this iku. The iku comprises a pair of oars. For boats. And rowing. Hooray! :D

The iku itself is still pretty simple (just four strokes), so I figure it works out well enough. By the way, for those who have never tried to row a small boat or canoe: not as easy as it looks! I was surprised. Also, it looks completely automatic, the rowing motion. It’s not. That’s something you’ve got to work at. Good workout, though.


• Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'iloa'.


  • (n.) shoulder

Te kanekoi ie iloa o ei!
“There’s a cat on my shoulder!”

Notes: It’s not Caturday yet, but I’ve got a cat picture for you! A friend of mine just rescued a very young kitten, and I got to visit him yesterday. I present to you Chapps:

Chapps on my shoulder.

Isn’t he adorable?! I want to grab him and put him in a little hot dog bun! It’d be big enough to serve as his bed! :D

A truly adorable little kitten. He was malnourished and suffering from fleas, but my friend cleaned him up and gave him food, and he’s on the mend. I expect we’ll see more of him here at the Kamakawi Word of the Day as time goes by.

The iku for iloa comprises the top and left sides of ko, you may notice. That’s why this iku gets classified as an iku’ume, as opposed to an ikuiku (though its suitability is, of course, based on the fact that it kind of looks like a shoulder and arm dangling).


• Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'ieletapana'.


Ka kawau ieletapana poiu kapolo.
“The apple has fallen from the tree.”

Notes: Yesterday the world lost Steve Jobs, co-founder and former CEO of Apple—really the main driving force behind the company since its inception. It’s always sad when anyone dies, but Apple’s had a profound influence on my life, so it gave me pause, his passing.

You see, I’ve never really used anything but Apple computers. The very first ones I had regular access to were the Apple IIe’s my mother was able to bring home from school during the summer when I was very young. I used to play MECC educational games on them, like Number Muncher and Oregon Trail.

Later, my best friend got a brand new computer (in color!), that had a new 3.5 inch floppy disk drive in addition to the 5.25 inch one: An Apple IIgs. This was the pinnacle of computing power and entertainment at the time. He had a bevy of games (too many to list), and we played through just about every title Sierra had made in the late 80s and early 90s. In addition, since this was the best computer anyone we knew had at the time, I used it to compose my first ever word-processed story: A 40 page short Oz story for a project I had in fifth grade.

When I was in junior high, my mother was able to bring home our first Macintosh (I believe a Macintosh Classic II). This was where I first the encountered Carmen Sandiego series.

Some time in high school, when we graduated to a machine that ran System 7, I had my introduction to the internet via America Online. Back then, my friends and I would race home and get on AOL so we could chat with each other via instant messages, despite the fact we lived within walking distance of each other’s houses.

And it was some time during OS 8 that I began writing seriously. I first started taking my old short stories (written in pencil on lined paper) and transferring them to ClarisWorks documents. At the end of high school I wrote my first novel, all on ClarisWorks. I wrote a bit of it on our machine at home and also on the school’s computers (since, of course, my school only had Apple machines). Around the same time, I began my second novel, which I finished on one of the best presents I’d ever received up to that point: My own tangerine iMac G3. It was the second generation, and had bugs, but it, in fact, still works—and though I don’t use it now, I actually did use it in my office when I went to graduate school. And it served me well.

The G3 saw me through my entire undergraduate career. Everything I wrote was written on AppleWorks (the successor to ClarisWorks)—including the documents I made to document my languages when I started to conlang in 2000. All of them started out life as AppleWorks documents, and those documents are still in existence today (and are what I still use), though they’ve now been updated to Pages documents (Pages is the modern successor to AppleWorks).

When I graduated from Berkeley, my parents got me a Snowball iMac, which was even better than the G3 (which is why it stayed home and the G3 went to my office at school). And when the backlight went out on the Snowball, rather than replace it (only costs $50, but it was about time), I got the Intel-based iMac I currently use today.

Along the way, I’ve also had a MacBook Pro (still serving its purpose today), an iPod (which served me well on many a drive between San Diego and Orange County), an iPhone (possibly one of the handiest gadgets I’ve ever had), and the software I use reliably to do everything that I do: writing, web work, conlanging, music, graphics, fonts, presentations, e-mail—everything.

In short, all of my professional accomplishments have been achieved through the aid of an Apple product. That’s not insignificant. For someone who always felt in the dark when it came to working with DOS-based machines, Apple has helped me to be productive and to do what I do better.

I know it’s fashionable now to be down on Apple because their products are popular and their relatively easy learning curve invites users who are, otherwise, technologically incompetent, but for someone who’s been with Apple for quite awhile, things just seem to keep getting better. And though Steve Jobs is gone, I’m sure things will continue to get better, because he laid the foundation, and showed us how to keep on building.

Anyway, if you read this far, thanks for sharing my little trip down memory lane. Today’s word comes from Zhyler. In Zhyler, it’s yeldaban (in the orthography, yeldaban). When it came to Kamakawi, the initial glide broke (as all initial glides do in Kamakawi), giving us ieletapana. The Zhyler root yelda is, I believe, the word for “red”.


• Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'itakele'o'.


  • (n.) (a/the) theft, an instance of stealing

Ka mata ei ie itakele’o!
“I saw the theft!”

Notes: Continuing my ongoing egret series, here’s another fine egret picture:

A fancy egret from behind!

So after Erin got her plate and sat back down, another couple sat down at the table across from us. This time, I got up to get more food (note: this is important. I had taken my plate with me, you see), leaving Erin to eat hers at the table. I happened to get up at the same time that the husband at the other table got up to use the bathroom.

What happened next I didn’t witness; I only heard it from Erin later.

Being well aware of the ways of the sneaky egrets, Erin thought she would try to help out the woman at the other table by telling her to watch her husband’s plate—that the egrets would come for it. The woman took this advice, but apparently isn’t adept at shooing birds away.

First the enterprising egret hopped up on the back of her husband’s chair and eyed his plate with evil intent. The woman, at this point (says Erin) said something like, “Oh! Shoo, bird!” and made as if she were going to shoo the bird away with her hands—but she didn’t actually shoo the bird away with her hands.

And so the egret proceeded to completely ignore the woman, and he swallowed up her husband’s bacon in a single gulp.

Erin, meanwhile, was mightily entertained—about as entertained as I was when the egret from before ate up her eggs.

Anyway, when the husband returned, he was quite miffed that his plate had been de-baconed. Nevertheless, a good time was had by most—especially those whose plates had not been de-baconed (i.e. me).


• Sunday, September 4th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'i'iki'.


  • (n.) chicken (when it’s food), chicken meat

Kiko ka hava ei i i’iki.
“Today I had chicken.”

Notes: Today’s word derives, unsurprisingly, from the word iki, “chicken”. In Kamakawi there’s a distinction drawn between an animal and the meat of that animal. I decided to do this on purpose, but I now forget the reason… I’m pretty sure it was high-minded, but I don’t know if I agree with the sentiment any longer (especially as I can’t remember what it is). Nevertheless, the distinction remains.

There’s a famous case of lexical ambiguity that involves chickens that’s discussed by Sanford Schane in his class “Language and the Law” (you can see a syllabus here). The case (which you can read up on here) involves a fellow who ordered some chickens, and when they arrived, he discovered they were stewing hens (ones used primarily for stock or in soups) as opposed to young chickens, which are used for eating generally (fried chicken, roast chicken, etc.). He refused to pay for the stewing hens, claiming that they’re not what he ordered. The guy who sent the stewing hens claimed that they were, technically, chickens. The court ended up finding in favor of Frigaliment (the guy who expected young chickens) because while the stewing hens were chickens, it was ruled that any ordinary person who heard “chicken” would not expect a stewing hen (kind of like if someone is looking for bachelors, presenting them with a three week old male baby wouldn’t fit the bill—though the little fellow would, technically, be a bachelor).

Anyway, I brought this up because it occurred to me that the Kamakawi term would solve this ambiguity, but it does’t, actually: I’iki would be used for both stewing hens and young chickens that have been slaughtered for their meat. Oh well.

In other news, today is my good friend Scott Yarborough’s 30th birthday. For my very close friends, he is the last one to turn 30 in our year of 30s. Today we are officially “real” adults, and can no longer use our youth as an excuse for anything. We’re all old and supposed to be responsible. Oh well. It was a good run, while it lasted.

But yeah, happy birthday to Scott! Of us men of a certain age, you are the youngest. Today our hats are off to you. Tomorrow… Well, tomorrow is another day (which isn’t so bad after all).


• Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

Glyph of the word 'ilave'.


  • (n.) storm
  • (adj.) stormy
  • (v.) for there to be a storm

A male ilave.
“Storm’s coming.”

Notes: Seems like a rather simple term, just haven’t done it yet. The word derives from the word lave, which means “rain”. I’d wager that the word for “storm”, when it’s not a basic term, derives from a word for “wind” in a lot of natlangs. I think I’d be an interesting word to look up, comparatively. Probably lots of interesting coinages the world over.

Tomorrow I’m starting up fantasy football again. It’ll be the first live draft I’ve participated in in…probably five years. We’ll see how it goes (I’ll have to post my roster here). Cross your fingers for me!


• Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'iwe'.


  • (v.) to be full
  • (adj.) full
  • (n.) fullness

Iwe iko pai, io keyo iko pai…
“This bowl is full, but this bowl is empty…”

Notes: It’s not Caturday, but I really feel like I must share this:

Empty bowl, full bowl.

Those are Keli’s two food bowls. The one on the left is her dry food bowl; the one on the right her wet food bowl. Both bowls had been filled up when I went to sleep. Notice any difference?

I’d like to say that it’s a constant battle between Keli and us to get her to eat her wet food, but that’s kind of like saying there’s a constant battle between humans and time: Sure, we “fight” aging with wrinkle creams (or so commercials have led me to believe), but, I mean, come on; we know our place.

Yes, despite the fact that her wet food is much more expensive and, quite frankly, sounds more appetizing, she just will not eat it. We get her a particular high-protein dry food, and so we thought, “Hey! Why not get her wet food made by the same company? It’s five times as expensive as the other wet food, but maybe she’ll take to it the way she does her dry food!”

No dice.

In fact, when we serve it to her, she walks up to it, sniffs it, turns and gives us a look, and walks away. If she could talk, I imagine she’d accompany that look with, “Seriously?”

Anyway, I just don’t know what to do. We can’t give up, certainly, but if she doesn’t eat it… Bleh. Crazy cat. We get you a feast, and this is how you repay us?! You’re just lucky you’re so darned cute…


• Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'ioine'.


  • (n.) wedding

Ka puke ioine.
“The wedding has concluded.”

Notes: And happily. I don’t know if I’ve been to a better wedding outside my own. Check this shot out:

Dave and Adrienne's first dance.

I could probably say more about Kamakawi weddings here, but I feel a bit drained, so I’ll have to save it for later.