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About a month ago I bought half of all the books Terry Pratchett ever wrote. I was hoping they’d last until Christmas at least, but it turns out that a vacation is a really good excuse to stay up reading for 20 hours in a row.

In the course of the last book, I encountered the phrase ‘jikan no muda’ in the context of a numeric game found in a newspaper. Since my Japanese dictionary happened to be within arm’s reach, I looked up muda, and laughed, because Pratchett is a professional at writing humorous books. Then I realized that I had just put myself into a rather small category of people by getting the joke, and that the subcategory of people who got the joke and then intended to write about it online was even smaller.

Then I figured that since I was thinking recursively anyway, I might as well go for broke. Terry Pratchett is a very funny writer, but he has no idea how far some people go when they decide to waste time.

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Comment by anonymous
2007-11-24 17:20:08

However, as your mother, I am not the least bit surprised! If you got a laugh out of it, it isn’t a total waste. You are building your immune system.

Comment by anonymous
2007-11-26 08:13:27

So yeah…I don’t speak japanese, don’t have a japanese-english dictionary handy, and both Babel Fish and Google Translate convert “jikan no muda”, helpfully, to “jikan no muda”.

So you’re destined to remain annoyingly exclusive.

Comment by coriolinus
2007-11-26 15:08:46

I guess you could try translating 時間の無駄–the autotranslators should have an easier time of that.


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