Idioms Gallery
Blog archive at the bottom of the page.

Language Gallery by Sharon Hahn Darlin

May 31, 2009

共存共生 live and let live

共 (common) 存 (exist) 共 (common) 生 (live)

Let's review what John Locke told us, "No one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions."

Echoed many times, it's a wonder people don't get the fundamental concept, as in:
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. (U.S. Declaration of Independence)
Liberté, égalité, fraternité (French national motto)

As long as they are not infringing on your own pursuit of happiness, everyone should be free to pursue their own happiness. Duh is right.

photography by Manuel Libres Librodo Jr.

May 25, 2009

心心相印 wordless heart to heart

心 (mind) 心 (mind) 相 (mutual) 印 (stamp)

Sometimes you just
get someone, with not so many words, gestures. Isn't it better that way?

balloon images courtesy of
seventh.samurai and tremble clef.

May 2, 2009

有備無患 an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

The government is certainly hoping for the best, preparing for the worst, just in case the swine influenza A (H1N1) virus turns out to be as lethal as that suggested by early estimates of 7%(!) case fatality rate.

有(have) 備 (prepare) 無 (nothing) 患 (trouble)

Literally, if you prepare, no worries.

Now, aren't people overreacting, just a little?

"A United Airlines flight from Munich to Washington made a two-hour stop at Logan International Airport this afternoon so a female passenger who had complained of flu-like symptoms could be removed and taken to a hospital for treatment." -The Boston Globe

May 1, 2009

電光石火 blink of an eye

電 (lightning) 光 (light) 石 (stone) 火 (fire)

How fast does an eye blink? For less than half a second, normally.

In this digital age (the character 電 has long come to mean electricity) a blink of an eye appears to be a long time, indeed. Think of how much visual information you miss during those milliseconds. Moments that are sometimes captured forever for cyber-eternity.

What, you don't even remember those moments?

It is great that our experiences (and pseudo-experiences) could be frozen in full digital clarity with 電光石火, "lightning speed". It may, however, be merciful to lose some of them in a flash.

It's wonderful to watch a flint generate a spark, but when your eyes are blinking, don't you want to remember the intermittent moments as tranquil pauses, and nothing else?

"Flaming Moe" by ICT_photo