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Death by Acronym: Part 2

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We start with Alberto’s haiku calendar for March. It’s lovely, as always, but there’s one difference this time; he’s the one who wrote the haiku! お疲れさまでした! (Otsukaresamadeshita! Good job!)



See the comments section for his explanation of this haiku.

Now we’ll return from the ethereal haiku world and come back down to earth with a thud! In an ongoing investigation of (GEKI, hage(shii): violent, intense, agitated, sudden), I’ve come across a sample sentence with the following translation:

When the flight crew has the aircraft under control, everything is working normally, and yet it still crashes into the ground, that’s CFIT.

Really? You call that CFIT? Not “all hell has broken loose for no good reason” but just “CFIT”? Sounds rather mild, I would say.

“CFIT” stands for “Controlled flight into terrain,” a situation in which a pilot inadvertently crashes into terrain, an obstacle, or water, perhaps because of fatigue, poor visibility, or disorientation. That’s all neatly summed up in the acronym CFIT. Strange. Even stranger that I’d never heard of this until led the way.

The Japanese version of this sentence (which you’ll see in a bit) features the following word:

激突 (gekitotsu: crash into; clash)     violent + to collide

Where We’ve Seen

For better or for worse, will come in handy after a CFIT. You can use it to describe not only the crash but also your feelings:

激憤 (gekifun: resentment; indignation)     intense + anger

The second kanji is hard to see. Here it is again: .

激情 (gekijō: violent emotion; passion; fury)     violent + emotion

In both words, the second kanji features the “heart” radical, heart.png. No wonder! And the enraged, violently (激しく) beating heart finds an outlet in language:

激語 (gekigo: harsh language)     violent + language

This rare term refers to harsh words uttered out of anger.

You may utter some of your own 激語 after seeing the daunting sample sentence about CFIT. It’s gnarly-looking, and your motivation to study Japanese may abruptly take a CFIT. But don’t despair! We can work through it bit by bit (by bit by bit). Here it is:


See how many characters you recognize. I bet there are quite a few. The question is whether you know the compound in which you’ve spotted them. For instance, and may be familiar, but do you know how they act in a pair? Same question for and . Ah, the ever-shifting nature of kanji!

Speaking of shifting, I’ll meet you on the side page for a breakdown of all this vocabulary.

Breakdown of the Sentence …

If you have just a little more energy for self-testing, try your hand at the Verbal Logic Quiz.

Verbal Logic Quiz …