Thursday, May 26, 2011

In which Jams O' Donnell increases his vockablary

    I would recomend that everyone visits the Korean Central News Agency (a propaganda organ of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea... Hah) at least once in their life. It is not, most definitely not,  that I endorse the North Korean regime in any way, shape or form; it is just that the way English is used by the KCNA is a sight to behold. 

    Here is an extract from a report entitled Dissemination of Juche Idea to Be Intensified in Various Countries

    Pyongyang, May 25 (KCNA) -- The Bangladesh Institute of the Juche Idea made public a statement on May 18 in support of the decision of the 13th enlarged meeting of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the International Institute of the Juche Idea and the appeal to the Juche idea followers of the world adopted at the Latin American regional seminar on the Juche idea.

    The statement noted that President Kim Il Sung founded the Juche idea to clearly indicate the way for the accomplishment of the human cause of independence and ushered in the rise of the Songun revolution under the banner of the Juche idea, thus making immortal contributions to global independence.

    Under the Songun leadership of Kim Jong Il perfectly carrying forward the idea and cause of the President the Korean people are setting a shining example in defending the sovereignty of the country and the socialist gains and building a great prosperous and powerful country of Juche, it added.

    But I digress. A couple of days ago this headline had me scratching my won head in puzzlement: 1,551 Macrobians in Cuba

    "What on earth is a macrobian?", I asked myself. The text was of little help:

    There are 1,551 Macrobians above 100 years old in Cuba at present. This is an increase of 10 over that last year, Cuban newspaper Granma said.

    A Google search of the word pointed me to Wikipedia/ It seems that Macrobians were an ancient people who lived on the Somali peninsula during the 1st millennium BC. They were mentioned by Herodotus as being a nation of people that had mastered longevity with the average Macrobian living till the age of 120. They were said to be the "Tallest and Handsomest of all men"

    So Cuba is home to over 1,500 elderly Somalis? Perhaps they moved there to take advantage of Cuba's high standard of healthcare.

    Wiktionary defines macrobian as "having an exceptionally long lifespan"

    So there you have it. a macrobian is basically someone who is very old. I live and learn. Had it not been for an occasional dip into the surreal world of North Korean propaganda I may never have encountered this word.

    Make of this what you will...
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