Liquid Grammar, Liquid Style

On the East-Asian Way of Using English or Reflections on the "Linguistic Air-Guitar"

"Thinking Logically to Feel Confident About Reading English"

-- (from a Chinese Time-Newsweek subscription campaign)

1. At Full Love With Vivian

The Western visitor of East Asia marvels at English expressions that he encounters in advertisements, in magazines, on T-Shirts, and elsewhere that seem to come "out of another world." Single words and short adjective-loaded English sentences, rarely longer than five words, suggest something like the invention of a new language. In Japan and in Korea this phenomenon has been thriving for decades; in China it is more recent but developing along the same lines.

The use of English in East Asia is linked to a certain part of East-Asian social history. "Japano-English" for example, is neither "real" English nor Japanese but symbolizes, within the domain of linguistics, the co-existence of two cultural spheres. In Japan, after the mid-1880s, an earlier uncritical and unsystematic acceptance of things Western gradually gave way to the view that Japanese and Western culture can exist side-by-side. From then on the question was: how can East Asia incorporate the West without being culturally overwhelmed by it?

In the domain of language, Japano-English brings forward schemes of cultural coexistence of utmost sophistication. Wasei eigo (made in Japan English) is a well-known phenomenon. Most of the time, it concerns the invention -- or rather re-invention -- of words like arubaito (part-time work from the German Arbeit) or mansion (a modern apartment block), attributing new meanings to foreign words. More fascinating -- though much more difficult to analyze -- are the peculiar English sentences in which words and grammar follow almost normal usage rules but which nevertheless express an unmatched strangeness. Because such English is common in Japan (Engrish), Korea (Konglish), China (Chinglish), and other East-Asian countries like Indonesia and Thailand, I suggest labeling this "language" as East-Asian English (EA English). I am well aware that there are differences between these national branches of English, but I think that a certain overall similarity enables us to speak here of a new "Pan-Asian language" based on a common East-Asian cultural experience.

2. For Your Tasteful Life

The vagueness of these languages -- as well as the lack of prepositions, inflections, connecting words, articles and personal pronouns in Japanese and Korean, and the indistinctness of concepts, verbs, adjectives, etc. in Chinese -- make a literal translation from an Asian language to English imprecise and confused. In these cases the result is a kind of East-Asian Pidgin: "Do not play water," "400% expectation coffee," "Classics of world translates into film..."

However, EA English covers a range of phenomena much broader than the scope of Pidgin English. Therefore -- though many cases might overlap -- I distinguish simplified English from EA English, defining it as an autonomous way of speaking determined by layers of an inter-culturally determined cognition that reside at deeper levels than those produced exclusively by the grammar and vocabulary of the host language. The cognitive structure underlying the apprehension of EA English is not based principally on the process of derivation from an already existing language, but almost represents the creation of a new language. In the present article I will argue that the English fragments that appear in East-Asian contexts are experienced on a relatively immediate level of cognition that in many cases does not refer to linguistic models of the host language (Japanese, Korean, Chinese). I am aware that writing about a fluent phenomenon like EA English is difficult because the attribution of an expression to either decorative English, simply false English or a genuinely new way of speaking is often debatable. Many cases overlap. Still I will try to crystallize what appear to be the most general features of EA English.

3. Make Your Creativity Into Flowers

Decorative English appears most often in fashion and beauty magazines. In specialized business magazines it appears surprisingly rarely though one might expect a better knowledge of English among experts of economics than among housewives. However, what is at stake is not the understanding of this language. Most of the time, the words are printed in large roman letters that stand out from the vernacular script. The use of foreign language words (French words for fashion or German words for cars) occurs, of course, in advertisements all over the world and is not a particularly Asian phenomenon. But in Asia this phenomenon is more frequent. Foreign language words are often used as effective tools without creating language by relying on their visual function. These words are to be understood as silent (to be seen rather than heard), expressing a style rather than a clear semantic message. At the same time, their semantic meaning is not totally unimportant. They correspond to a concept that Walter Benjamin has singled out as a typical phenomenon of modernity: they are "images [that take] the place of concepts: riddles and picture-puzzles of dreams that hide, that slip through the net of semiotics but which are still worth the effort of gaining knowledge" [1]

Wasei eigo deals mainly with words that are written in the Japanese phonetic script katakana (though of course the Japanese write many English words in katakana without these words being recognized as belonging to the repertory of wasei eigo). The Koreans do the same with hangul and the Chinese, in lack of a phonetic script, use their ideographs to transcribe more difficult foreign words (hambaobao for hamburger, and ‚ â er bei sî for Alpenliebe, for example). This transcribed language appears more like a secret language understandable -- if at all -- only to speakers of that language. The mystifying effect of such a secret national language is enormous. In Japanese, some "English" words become pronounceable only through their transcription in katakana. A shampoo with the difficult name "Asience" (apparently a fusion of Asia and science) can be pronounced "ajiensu" only when employing the katakana transcription. "Buru rich tea life," written in katakana, will most often only be understood by a Japanese person who knows that "buru" signifies "bourgeois."

Wasei eigo is a hybrid language which is based, like Pidgin-English or Spanglish, on a model of fusion. True, EA English shares with these languages the fact that it has no native speakers. At the same time EA English is more than a curious secret language because it has the more developed features of an autonomous language. Also, it is not restricted to the domain of advertisements and, thus, cannot be fully explained as an advertising ploy selling bourgeois sentiment. On a formal level, its particular character cannot be explained through binary (bilingual) schemes of fusion like code-switching, code-mixing, calques, insertion or alternation (all of them restricted to vocabulary and grammar). The scheme at work in EA English raises the phenomenon of "cultural coexistence" to a much higher level of sophistication. Only EA English is able to provide the stunning and dreamlike effect of sentences like this:

"Recovery-Rediscovery: Re-experience vibrant, youthful looking skin as REVITAL realigns your skin's inner strengths to overcome gravity, the appearance of wrinkles and dullness" (a Chinese Shiseido advertisement).

The fluent -- perhaps too fluent -- English is grammatically flawless and does not employ a single newly invented word. Still it conveys a strangeness reminiscent of dreams. There is the playful use of language (like children playing with words beginning with re-) inviting the reader to "re-experience vibrant youthful looking skin." It is clear that it is impossible to experience one's skin, either in English or in Chinese even if, through a playful device, the idea of "experience" is heightened by turning it into "re-experience."

The next example comes from a Shanghai real estate agency:

"New center world. Its totally different.
Maybe we can call this a kind of Shanghai memory

The assuring assertion that something is "totally" different is followed by a juxtaposition of "maybe," "can," and "kind of" (where all three are out of place). This is neither precise nor vague. One might say that this is the opposite of "thinking in words" because here the words have been chosen only because they appear momentarily appropriate on a -- very unstable -- emotional level. At the same time there is a lot of self-reflexive thought in this language, which makes it a far cry from a direct expression of emotions. There is some "thinking" at work, but it is not real analytical thinking; "thinking" is here guided -- in an emotional manner -- by words which are appreciated not only for their clear semantic content but as emotional-semantic fields whose borders remain unclear.

This process is far from spontaneous. Often these words are selected from a dictionary and selectively italicized. For example, the following is taken from the slogan of a Shanghai Hotel:

"Luxury flatlet and hotel establishment embody noblest verve."

Here are some Japanese examples:

"We think that we want to contribute to society through
diamond drilling and wire sawing."


"Let's carry out preservation at room temperature"


Beauty is anywhere around the world.
AVE will change from uncertain to necessary the heart
which feels beauty and is sharpened.
AVE and you stir up the impression of people. It's a AVE surrealism.

EA English is a reflective emotional language composed of "intellectualized word-emotions."

4. Because it Passes Soon, Pleasant Time is Lonely

EA English is representative of a more general process of a particularly paradoxical style of "Westernized" East-Asian culture. One paradox is the particularly strange combination of Orientalism and Occidentalism. Orientalism signifies the Western appropriation of the Orient and can be encountered by "Occidentalism," through which the "Orientals" attempt to reconstruct the West as their Other. However, as is well known, Occidentalism is not necessarily an inverted form of Orientalism. To the extent that Orientals strive towards an integration and coexistence of two cultures, they do not usually aim at the straightforward degradation and submission of the West.

In the domain of language, the complex character of these cultural techniques is particularly evident. By using EA English one intends:

(1) To be respectful towards the English language (and thus to degrade oneself because "we cannot say these things in Chinese or Japanese"). At the same time, by distorting it, one ends up being disrespectful towards English.

(2) To colonize the English language by using it, though at the same time being aware that one is colonized by it through its use.

Edward Said's assumption that the cultural appropriation of the Other is either an act of imperialistic colonization or one of self-colonization is not true with regard to EA English. Both Orientalist and Occidentalist schemes remain trapped within a dialectics of "Oxford English" vs. "Pidgin English" and disregard the possibility of combining both approaches in a paradoxical way.

5. The Bag Means Your Mind

It is, of course, no surprise that English has been chosen as the new Pan-Asian language. While after the war the Korean language was not taught at any Japanese university, the use of English spread very quickly. What spread most significantly was a variation of English determined by a form of cultural paradox that is typical for a region marked by Pan-Asian "revolutionary" history. Pan-Asianism represented a movement of Asian cooperation launched around 1903 by Kakuzo Okakura and meant to halt the Western advance. All Asians should recognize their own cultural values and "weather the storm under which so much of the Oriental world went down." Being aware of the worldwide rise of colonial peoples and the decline of imperialism, Pan-Asianists tried to organize a cultural stronghold which could serve as an orientation mark to "second rate" nations that would otherwise be lost in a sea of individual civilizations and fall victim to European imperialism.

However, due to the curious geopolitical position of Japan, much of the identity of the "Orient" as well as the identity of Japan remained in the domain of the imaginary. As Kang Sanggjung said: "Japan constructed such an identity in terms of the relation between its idea of the 'Orient' (which was discovered or created by both its identity with and difference from the West) and its imaginary geography and history of Korea, Manchuria, and China. Herein lies the aporia that was repeated throughout Japan's process of modernization." [2] For Kang the "very category of the 'Orient' is nothing but an 'imaginary time and space,' one that emerged from the suffering common to non-Western societies in their attempt to reconcile civilization and culture, difference and identity (p. 93)."

One of the results was the construction of Pan-Asianism as a kind of "anti-imperialist imperialism" under Japanese leadership, an attitude which turned out to be a constant producer of cultural paradoxes. However, because a large part of Pan-Asianist aspirations took place in the domain of the imaginary, these paradoxes were accepted. Indeed, Pan-Asianism is characterized by the coexistence of a series of paradoxical elements: colonialism / anti-colonialism, conservatism/ revolutionary attitudes, individualism / totalitarianism, and nationalism / internationalism.

Notably, "Western culture" was never celebrated as a geographical and historical reality but existed from the beginning in the form of an imagined and fictionalized "Western culture" (films, fashion, life style, etc). This is one of the reasons why pacific warfare failed to eradicate a hidden admiration for the United States of America.

Today, the paradoxes cultivated by colonized colonizers can thrive even better than in the 1920s. The reason is that since the times of Sun Yat-sen the linguistic and cultural reality of what is called "Western culture" or "English language" has shifted towards a sphere that is predominantly playful and dreamlike. East Asian "westernized" culture appears less than ever to be a "real world" in which objectified elements from eastern and western cultures have merely been combined. The emergence of EA English as an autonomous language represents one further step in a series of attempts to construct a "Western" Other capable of embracing all cultural paradoxes of Westernized East Asia.

6. These Pleasing Days

Children approach the linguistic reality of adults by incorporating new sentences into "old," childlike grammatical structures. By and by the old structures get expanded until they overlap with those of adult language. Even bilingual children do this, taking care not to put the two languages into a subset relation. [3] Children abandon incorrect grammatical patterns in order to acquire correct language. This language represents a concrete reality for children, as they hear correct grammatical structures very often (linguists estimate frequency measures of 100.000 inputs until a child abandons the wrong form) [4] More importantly, children need to acquire this correct language in order to survive in the linguistic reality made by adults.

How do these things work with regard to EA English? It is clear that the linguistic "reality" of EA English is inscribed into a completely different cultural schedule because with EA English an objectified model reality within which one can have concrete experiences does not exist. What exists is a linguistic imaginary of "English and the West" shaped with regard to one's own imaginary Asian identity.

7. The Premonition that Happens to be Pleasant

In truth, "the West" is to most East Asians still as unfamiliar as it was sixty years ago. Any "familiarity" is not natural, rather, it is constructed by transforming Western reality into an allegory of itself. While the symbol symbolizes something, an allegory conveys a supplementary meaning in addition to the original meaning. Most East-Asians seem to take EA English for granted as a cultural symbol; indeed, EA English's disquieting, "strange" character is noticed mostly by foreigners. A serious amount of allegorical discontinuity is reflected in EA English expressions as they "represent" Anglo-American culture. In this sense, EA English is exemplary of Fredric Jameson's characterization of the postmodern episteme as dominated by an "allegorical spirit [which] is profoundly discontinuous, [which is] a matter of breaks and heterogeneities, [and] of the multiple polysemia of the dream rather than the homogenous representation of the symbol." [5]

EA English "represents" Western culture allegorically. Thus, EA English is comparable to Walter Benjamin's conception of the allegory as an eternally strange quality that remains inaccessible to scientific analysis. Allegories contain a certain amount of feeling, but because they remain hazy and fleeting, they cannot be grasped with the help of empathy. For Benjamin, modernity is "the world governed by its phantasmagorias" [6] and the phantasmagoric world of modernity is a dream. The world of modernity transforms itself into a kind of dreamlike writing in which some words "flash" like allegories.

Contemporary East Asian culture has produced this type of writing in a more literal way than Benjamin could have thought. EA English allegories "dart [...] past only as an image flashing at the very moment [they] can be recognized but then disappear [...] immediately and for good." [7]

8. Discover the Taste of Food

In fashion and life-style magazines, EA English is used as a structuring element providing titles to columns, features, and sections. Here EA English adopts an allegorical technique of fragmentation. It is wrong to describe its role as being reduced to "decorative English." The English headings in magazines read -- as perhaps any heading should -- like fragments from a larger piece. However, the way articles are synthesized in these headings looks either incomplete and inconsistent or tautological. In this way, they are allegories par excellence because in them we encounter a "fixed image and a fixed sign in one." [8] Some examples:

"I Deserve the Best of All" (on a designer).

"For the Beauty of Stone"

"One Person in Brazil"

"Engine for Architecture"

"Seeing Believing"

"Bold Beautiful Pieces"

"So Attractive for Date"

"Origins of Love"

9. Lovely Water -- You Are Free

On the one hand, the use of EA English is similar to children's language; on the other hand, there is no expansion towards adult language as the "adult" model or ideal is absent. Therefore, EA English remains a largely "intuitive" way of speaking: Instead of appealing to a mental representation determined by a functional role (through practical or theoretical reasoning), it appeals to a "non-subjective" cultural consciousness and not to linguistic schemes of cognition. The concrete phenomenon of language passes through this non-subjective consciousness in the form of pre-linguistic experience; only afterwards the utterances of the speaker become concrete language. This means that the English language elements, in the way they are used in these contexts, have not been objectified by a subject beforehand, they are not experienced as objective elements, but immediately contribute to the formation of a new linguistic consciousness.

These EA English expressions certainly have an emotional appeal, but the way in which "emotion" is present in this language is intriguing. It is not present in a linguistically objectified form but rather as "pure emotion" that speaks indirectly though the choice of words and their combination. Although linguistic reflection often takes place on a conscious level, the choice of words is often determined by emotional, pre-linguistic patterns of reflection.

The cultural experience of EA English comes close to the notion of "pure experience" as elaborated by the philosopher William James. For James, pure experience "is as if there were in the human consciousness a sense of reality, a feeling of objective presence, a perception of what we may call 'something there,' more deep and more general than any of the particular 'sense' by which current psychology supposes existent realities to be originally revealed." [9] These experiences are "pre-conceptual" in the sense that they are not mastered by a conceptualizing intellect but excel in the combination of non-objectified (imaginary) elements of Eastern and Western culture within linguistic experience.

The linguists Clore and Ortony have analyzed "emotion terms" in language: "If someone refers, for example, to 'being alone' in some situation, we would not necessarily assume that they are experiencing an emotion; but if they refer to 'feeling alone', we would. Hence, the failure to control the implicit linguistic context in which words are considered may be responsible for terms such as 'alone' sometimes being rated by subjects as emotions." [10] Clore and Ortony claim that "'being neglected' does not satisfy the requirements of an emotion on any count [because] it does not necessarily involve a mental state" (p. 374). 'Feeling neglected' on the other hand, does communicate an emotional reaction.

The authors also designate so-called "nonemotion terms" like "abandoned" and "alone." These terms refer to conditions that, being absolute, are too abstract to produce emotions. Clore and Ortony point out that it is impossible to say that a person is "somewhat abandoned" or "somewhat alone" (p. 377).

Even though "feeling neglected" does transmit an emotion, the emotion is present in the form of a linguistically objectified state of emotion. However, this is not the only way that emotions can be transmitted in language.

Look at the sentence "Lovely Water -- You Are Free," an advertisement by a Chinese water supplier. "You are free" is obviously an emotional idiom -- understandable to many Chinese persons -- that expresses something positive in the most general sense. The same can be said about the name of Chinese restaurants, which are "Promising Restaurant" or "Wishingfood," about a Japanese hair salon which advertises "Fresh Hair" or tissues that are sold with the slogan: "Living Tissues: Scent of a Woman". This does not mean in a concrete sense that this water makes you free, that this restaurant promises something, etc. The idea is rather that this water or this restaurant gives you a general positive feeling that EA English attempts to capture with the expression "you are free" or "promising." However, the connection between a word and such a remarkable abstract generality can be attained only because these expressions are immediately drafted in EA English. Notably, these expressions are nonsensical in both English and Chinese/Japanese.

10. Fairies Dreaming in the Night

All this explains why EA English remains resistant to conventional linguistic analysis. If you want to compare, for example, the semantic difference between the English word 'anger' and the German word 'Wut' you will set out to evaluate the cultural context within which these words are imbedded. You will then notice that within the German context there are also other words, like 'Angst' and 'Zorn,' all of which will help you to evaluate the meaning of 'Wut.' Taking it a step further, the ethno-linguists will try to adopt a "German perspective" on these culturally specific words.

How can this work with a language whose Western context is imagined and whose Eastern existence is inscribed in an equally imagined cultural universe? How can this work with a language which expresses a dream (or which is a dream) of Western culture that is floating and fluid and only loosely held together by an anglo-saxon linguistic ‹ber-ich?

11. What Gets You Noticed Now?

Often it might seem ironic but -- beware -- it is not. It's all dead serious. The Japanese Romantics tried to introduce irony to the Japanese in the 1920s, at the time when the Pan-Asian movement was thriving. They did not have much success and it is clear why. People who use irony are convinced that there are contradictions that have to be overcome through irony. The aim of German romantic dialectics had been to sublate contradictions within aesthetics. EA English, as the colonial-anti-colonial paradox that it is, does not need to be resolved through any form of dialectics because it is already a purely aesthetic phenomenon. [11] What is at work is not the dialectical combination of several real realities but a superimposition of several aesthetic realities. This is a technique that is current in the aesthetics of dreams. [12]

12. The Technique of Getting Stoned is the Trick of Marihuana

EA English is not real if real means "present," "strict" and "necessary." EA English words are not "strong" ("strong" enough, for example, to teach a child the correct use of English) because EA English itself is not a matter of Being but of imagination: from the outset EA English was not supposed to be "real English" but what people imagine English to be. The words in magazines, pictorial as they are, ask to be entered like one enters a dream. The words and sentences are silent and mysterious and the opposite of concrete: they have the fleeting character of words overheard on television or of words written by a talented computer which has language but no thought processes. They also resemble the language of e-mails because they have neither the presence of spoken speech nor the documentary commitment of traditional letters.

Another reason why EA English appears like a dream language is that it is often slightly out of context. As English fragments lacking a cultural frame, these elements stand out in any East-Asian environment. The words are there in front of our eyes, but we do not immediately recognize where they come from. It is as though they are spat out by a madman who does not really expect to be understood, who just says what he says, letting us more or less guess what he really means.

It is this disconnectedness that makes EA English fascinating for EA-readers. Often the words are there as if they had sprung out of the deepest layers of somebody's linguistic consciousness, layers in which words are not primarily items used in real life but rather intimate companions of our ruminating childlike fantasy. These words and sentences might have no sense in the real world but somewhere they certainly mean a lot to someone.

13. Heartful Quality

These stylish, self-contained and fluent expressions are like a virtual world. EA English has never had the intention of bringing Asians into a meaningful relationship with concrete objects. From the beginning the EA English world has not been about concrete objects with names and properties but about style. The modern world is not really an environment made of things but a stylish universe. EA English captures this self-contained modern universe in which style can be so pure because it is unrelated to any concrete Western (or Eastern) reality. EA English is exclusively based on the experience of a non-objectified quantity of "something Western" or, in other words,

It's the realization of my aspiration I hope to play along with the heartiest gadgetry manifesting my sensibility.
So I cannot help being particular about the every surrounding.

An Excursion to the Chinese Suburbs: Charming Prunk

There was a time when style was more or less concrete. Even during the structuralist era style could appear as a kind of grammar or structure imbedded in a reliable social context. Style was so "hard" that it could even be cut into two halves that were called the "higher" and "lower" social spheres. Developed in Europe by class-conscious designers, it might come as a surprise that the notion of style would one day conquer the world. But actually it did: Today, former Chinese peasants who have become recently rich not only buy Maseratis but also read Vogue.

The Eiffel Tower is a symbol of Western structural concreteness. Surprisingly, today you find an Eiffel Tower on almost every roof of one-family houses of the suburbs of Eastern Chinese cities. These towers are not antennas; they have no other function than that of conveying social prestige to its owners. Rich people have very high Eiffel Towers (while poor people do not even have homes).

14. Colorful as my Will

Deleuze's and Guattari's division of human language into vernacular language (here), referential language (there), vehicular language (everywhere), and mythical language (beyond) leads our analysis of EA English to original conclusions. [13] EA English is not a referential language that has been vernacularized (that is, transferred from there to here) but a vehicular language that has been mythicized (that is, transferred from everywhere to beyond).

Not being based on vernacular (childlike) linguistic structures, but at the same time consistently refusing the (adult) world of referential English, EA English remains grounded in an adventurous cultural nothingness on which it can do only one thing: turn into a ritual combination of the vehicular and the mythical (that is, becoming a kind of "everywhere-beyond"). The ritual is opposed to both the vernacular and the referential and EA English ritually combines the "everywhere" and the "beyond" in order to become the "myth of the vehicular."

Thus, EA English does not resemble baby talk but rather the subtlest kind of teenage talk: in EA English half-intellectualized emotions, self-contained in immature fantasies, lead an ever liquid existence. Here everything is ritualized and everything is purely aesthetic. Being without formal vernacular roots and referring to nothing, EA English is a little like what teenagers do when they belt-out English-sounding words while singing in the shower. Thus, EA English is ritual and purely aesthetic.

Paradoxically, it is not in spite of its fluidity, but because of it, that EA English can so easily be integrated into our lives. The aesthetic world of EA English is not the "hard" kind of artistic style that those artists who were engaged in idealistic projects like the Arts and Crafts Movement or Pop Art tried to introduce almost violently into life and society. On the contrary, the vaguely palpable quality of EA English contains no real life: it is a liquid style that cannot be seen and hardly felt but only overlooked.


I would like to thank the anonymous CTheory reviewer for the helpful comments and suggestions as well as the CTheory copy editor, Craig Tretiak.


[1] Walter Benjamin: Passagenwerk in Werke ed. by Rolf Tiedemann, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1983. All quotations from Benjamin are taken from this edition.

[2] Kang Sangjung: "The Imaginary Geography of a Nation and Denationalized Narrative" in Richard Calichman (ed.). Contemporary Japanese Thought, New York: Columbia UP, 2005, p. 90.

[3] The cognitive linguist Thomas Roeper explains that children, when acquiring "grammar," move from smaller to larger sets: "Each step of a child's acquisition of grammar must involve movement from a smaller set to a larger set and cannot involve the reverse. The steps are motivated by pieces of input data (adult sentences) which fail to fit into the smaller set, thereby forcing an expansion of the set." Thomas Roeper: "Formal and Substantive Features of Language Acquisition: Reflections on the Subset Principle and Parametric Variation" in Stephen Schiffer & Susan Steele (eds.). Cognition and Representation, Westview, Boulder, 1988, p. 161.

[4] Cf. Roeper, p. 167.

[5] Fredric Jameson. "Third-World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism" in Social Text 15, 1986, p. 73

[6] Benjamin V, 1, p. 77.

[7] Benjamin, I, 2, p. 695.

[8] Benjamin, I, 1, p. 359.

[9] William James. The Varieties of Religious Experience, Cambridge, Mass. and London: Harvard University Press, 1985, p. 56.

[10] Gerald L. Clore and Andrew Ortony: "The Semantics of the Affective Lexicon" in Vernon Hamilton, Gordon H Brower, Nico H Frijda (eds.). Cognitive Perspectives on Emotion and Motivation, Dordrecht: Nato Asi Serie, Kluwer, 1988, p. 370, italics mine.

[11] Did you ever hear a Japanese say "soooo desu ka?" This is neither affirmative nor negative nor the ironical synthesis of both. It is simply aesthetic.

[12] There is at least one striking difference between Japanese and Chinese EA English. While in Japanese magazines a considerable proportion of the words are represented by the expressions "happy," "pleasure," "fun," and "fantastic," in Chinese magazines, among the words most employed are "luxury" and "enjoy." In men's magazines, the titles are strikingly authoritarian which might be a due to Chinese authoritarianism or simply a hangover from communist times though it also projects masculinity, a type of masculinity that is rarely found in Japan. Her, in Chinese magazines, the authors clearly state what one is supposed to do in the emerging capitalist world. Still, the dreamlike effect of EA English prevails: "Well Dressed Men Have Nice Shoes"; "Eight Key Words to Text Your Understanding of Luxury"; "Skirts or Trousers for Everyday Beauty"; "We Invented Casual."

[13] Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari. Kafka. Pour une littérature mineure, Paris: Minuit 1975, p. 43ff. The scheme vernacular-referential-vehicular-mythical was actually first explored by Henri Gobard.

Thorsten Botz-Bornstein was born in Germany and studied Russian in M¸nster, and philosophy in Paris and Oxford. As a postdoctoral researcher based in Finland he undertook four years of research on Russian formalism and semiotics in Russia and the Baltic countries. He has also been in Japan, researching the Kyoto School and the philosophy of Nishida KitarÙ. Since 1997 he has been an Associate Researcher at the EHESS in Paris where he received his habilitation. He is currently a visiting scholar at the University of Zhejiang in China where he is working on a project entitled "Language and Cognition." He is the author of Place and Dream: Japan and the Virtual (Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi, 2004).