Archive for October 30th, 2003

New Piercing Fad Thwarts Metal Detectors


Garry ‘Stretch’ Turner was hoping to clip more than 153 pegs to his face at the
launch of the 2004 Guinness Book of Records in Manchester. But his effort
at the city’s Arndale Centre failed when he managed to clip on only 150
pegs, says the Manchester Evening News .

Quote of the Day


“John Silber is the Fidel Castro of American Higher Education”

The Dowbrigade

Not Sensei, Just Dowbrigade-san


An interesting article from the New York Times about the tendency in
Japan to use or not to use honorific titles. This goes to the point
of one of my areas of special interest – the relationship between language
and culture, in this case business culture.

While dropping honorifics is not going to solve the systemic problems
in the Japanese economy, breaking linguistic patterns can be a useful
tool in breaking cognitive habits which are
deemed counterproductive.

Yukio Sakamoto, the president and chief executive f Elpida Memory, a
semiconductor maker in Tokyo, believes that using titles like "department chief" impedes decision-making
and innovation.

"To call someone ‘president’ is to deify him," said Mr. Sakamoto,
who was influenced by the 28 years he worked at Texas Instruments. "It’s
part of Japan’s hierarchical society. Now that has no meaning. If you
have ability, you can rise to the top and show your ability."

the New York Times