Posts Tagged ‘plants’


• Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'a'iki'.


  • (n.) coral reef

I a’iki kavi pe.
“There’s a large coral reef there.”

Notes: A’iki is certainly an older word, and its iku is one of those that defies exact description. It’s, of course, built off the iku for “white”, a’i, but there’s no etymological relationship between the two. It features the “ground” determinative (used with places and locations), and it also kind of looks like a coral reef, but that could just be me. So it might’ve been an ikuleyaka, but usually those don’t have any phonological component.

Hey, apropos of nothing, if you want to see something good, check out the latest series at the Kēlen Word of the Day blog. Sylvia’s translated “The Jabberwocky” into Kēlen and is discussing the translation line by line. I never thought of the “slithy toves” as lizard, but that’s part of the fun!


• Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Glyph of the word 'mopi'.


  • (n.) candlenut

A male neo uei iu mopi.
“We’ll make use of the candlenuts.”

Notes: In Hawaiian, these are called kukui. In English, they’re called, “What the heck is a candlenut…?”



• 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”.


• Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'na'ao'.


  • (n.) lemon
  • (adj.) lemon-tasting, lemony

Ka hava ei i novu oi na’ao, kae ivivi amo i’i ima!
“I had a soup with lemon, and I really liked it!”

Notes: Which is unexpected, because I hate lemons—and sour things, in general. Honestly, I don’t even believe those who say they “like” sour things. It’s not possible: sour means bad! Think about it: Would you rather talk with a sweet person, or a sour one? And bitter, too! It makes absolutely no sense to me.

But, of course, when mixed with other flavors, sourness has its place, and this soup (artichoke and lemon) was quite enjoyable. I told my wife about it, and she thinks it sounds awesome; she’s going to try making it (and I’m excited about that prospect!).

Today’s word is kind of a compound. The word na there should be recognizable as “tongue”, and ao has no meaning. Rather, it’s what your mouth does when you bite into something sour: it kind of puckers and draws in (to try to protect your injured tongue!). So it kind of translate as “ao tongue”, and that’s the word for “lemon”.

On the plane ride from Fargo to Denver today I had a wonderful conversation with artist and journalist Jennifer Heath (bio here). She was at the symposium in Concordia to talk about the satellite installation of her art exhibition The Veil: Visible & Invisible Spaces. She actually gave me the idea for a different type of relay, which I might try to get started over on the relay list (and something similar might have been done on Conlang a couple years back; it’s just at the edge of my memory). The idea is a “write-around” story (i.e. one person writes a line, then passes it to the next person who writes the next line, and so on), except each line would be written in a different conlang. I think it could work—and that the results could potentially be hilarious! (Or poignant or exciting, I suppose; it’d depend on where the participants decided to take it.)

Got to get home first, though. I’m in the great mall of Denver waiting for my plane… CPU says it’s 4:12 p.m., which means it’s 3:12 p.m. here, and the plane’s supposed to take off at 3:44 p.m… Hey, that’s not too far away. Better get ready to shut this down.


• Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Glyph of the word 'fu'.Glyph of the word 'hi'.


  • (n.) cranberry bush

Ipe i fu’i mataitai.
“That’s a pretty cranberry bush.”

Notes: Today is the last day of Renovation, and my 600th blog post. In honor of this momentous occasion, a truly random and uninspired word: fu’i.

See, for some reason I was under the misapprehension that cranberries were tropical. This was actually in contrast with what I’d understood before—that they thrived in colder weather. Somehow, I seemed to have learned that they were tropical, and so I put them on the Kamakawi Islands.

Then I learned they weren’t—that, in fact, I was right the first time.

Nevertheless, there they exist. The way I think of it, the fu’i is a bush that produces berries that either taste like or look like cranberries, and which are native to the Kamakawi Islands. That I call the bush a “cranberry” bush is just a shorthand.

That, at least, is the storing I’m going with.


• Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'i'.Glyph of the word 'tava'.


  • (n.) banana peel
  • (n.) peel (any kind)
  • (v.) to peel a banana
  • (v.) to peel anything
  • (v.) to remove
  • (adj.) peeled

Ai itava ia i ipe oli i’i ai?
“Will you peel that fruit for me?”

Notes: And, as promised (or foretold), another banana word! :D

This time it’s the peel. Since banana’s have such a canonical peel, though (or maybe exceptional—highly recognizable), the word for peeling a banana has been extended to peeling anything (and the peel itself to all peels). Then peeling itself was extended to cover removing anything. And so it goes.

And now to figure out if there are anymore banana-related lexical items in Kamakawi…


• Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'tava'.Glyph of the word 'tava'. or Glyph of the word 'tava'.


  • (n.) a bunch of bananas

Hava ei i tavatava a.
“I’m eating a bunch of bananas.”

Notes: Hooray for backposting again! :D

So “yesterday” was just the one banana, and today’s the bunch. It’s a full reduplication, and so you generally write it by doubling the glyphs, but since the iku itself looks like a bunch of bananas, you can just user the basic line determinative to mean “a bunch of bananas”. I don’t know if I can guess which is more common… Probably the latter with the determinative.

Hey, I’m caught up! Now time to do today’s word of the day. I wonder what it will be (and if it will somehow be related to bananas…).


• Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'tava'.


  • (n.) banana

Hava ei i tava a.
“I’m eating a banana.”

Notes: Hooray for backposting! :D

I’m currently sitting at the ol’ LCS table here at WorldCon, and there’s not much to do, so I’m going back and filling in. I’m trying to find some simple words to do quickly, and so I was looking through my dictionary and noticed that I hadn’t yet done “banana”. How ’bout that! I mean, I’m a big fan of bananas! And I’ve got an ikuiku for it! I declare.

Anyway, there it is. Pretty standard ikuiku. Looks banana-y. Enjoy one yourself someday soon!


• Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'fe'.Glyph of the word 'li'.


  • (n.) kiwi fruit

Meyeli motu o lea takeke feli!
“His face is fuzzy like a kiwi!”

Notes: Despite their recent popularity, I don’t much like to bite into a kiwi by itself. I’ll admit it adds something to fruit juice and smoothies, but by itself…eh. I’m more liable to leave it than take it.


• Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'kavu'.


  • (n.) garlic

Havava ei i kavu.
“I like garlic.”

Notes: And this is true. I have nothing more contentful to say, because it’s hot. It’s after midnight! How’s it got to be this hot in the middle of the night?! Man…