Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The world of the purple sky

The professor went missing three weeks ago. Prior to his disappearance, he was conducting yet another of his secretive experiments, which he described as being his “most amazing discovery”. We were all skeptical.

On the night he disappeared, a purple haze enveloped the sky, stretching beyond the horizon. It drew us to his home, but we could find nothing. Even his house had disappeared.

From that day on, the sky was draped in that cursed purple hue. We never managed to find the professor. He had vanished from the face of the earth, lost to an unknown space and time.

Friday, October 12, 2007

What's In a Name ?

Recently, some bloggers put up simple "Free Burma !" posts on their blogs. Then, yesterday, I saw someone on MSN with the nick, "Free Myanmar !".

Two words, refering ostensibly to the same object, and yet having absolutely different connotations.

Not too long ago, I was puzzled by the absolute refusal of certain global entities in using the name "Myanmar". After all, what's in a name, or so I thought. Then came the recent crisis in Myanmar/Burma, which highlighted the otherwise subtle differences in the words.

The fact that the choice of a noun actually indicates the person's political position is extremely interesting. However, in retrospect, this is not new - "Pro-choice", "Pro-life", are both terms which refer to the same thing, but signify different stances towards abortion. Many other examples exist.

Thus, I wonder - Is there a neutral word which can be used to refer to Myanmar/Burma ? With only two words to chose from and with each word implying the supporting of a particular faction, in naming that country, one would forcibly dragged into taking a side. Interesting, and troublesome, for any self-purported neutral observer.

Free Temasek, anyone ? Or, perhaps, free Malaya.