Chien Ting Chin (chinc@sten.sunnybrook.utoronto.ca)
Thu, 24 Feb 2000 11:18:27 -0500 (EST)


Nemus wrote:
> So, every man on this planet must know every words in the English
> dictionary before he can invent a name?

No, but he better checks the dictionary before using it as the bad guys in
a TV show. A kid's show no less.

> Zion was already copyrighted then?

The words Italy and Spain aren't copyrighted either.

> Zion is a created finctional name.

(I can see you generally have a problem with dictionaries :)

To Jews, Zion is a word thousands of years old. To the rest of the world,
Zion is well known ever since 1947, as the movement of Jewish
independence. And who sparked the Zionist movement? Germany, only the
hero and ally to Japan. MSG's using it to spell the bad guy's name draws
attention to the fact that Japan was the most powerful ally of the Jew's
greatest enemy. Grossly ignorant.

> Zion isn't a bad word to me, it's a political/religious movement. So
> we have first grade languages and the others, neh?

Thank you for explaining so clearly to me. But sorry my first grade
English comprehension fails me with regards to your second sentence.

> Gundam wasn't developed for external market so Tomino could do
> everything he wanted with names. He did not see the Gundam's future and
> no one can blame him for that, and no one can blame him if he used words
> with other meanings in other languages.

Let's leave Tomino alone for now. He only wrote the katakana name. It
was some nameless staff writer who chose the less accurately sounding and
more politically stupid spelling. But the blame doesn't even rest on this
hapless writer, it rest on the whole publishing organization and
Bandai/Sunrise. It says two things:

1. No one bothers to check the dictionary and/or the PR people before
sending the writing on to publication.

2. The average Japanese doesn't pay attention to the victims of their
former ally, so they didn't know the word Zion has a serious meaning. It
goes all the way from writers to editors to fans.

It gets so bad that some American dubbers actually pronounce it as si-on,
so now both the spelling and the pronounciation invite trouble. If you
look at the thousands of Gundam websites in Japan, many of them, perhaps
unaware of or embarrassed by the official spelling, use Jion instead of
Zion or Zeon. Do you condemn them as senseless retocon too?

CHIN, Chien Ting
Dept of Medical Biophysics, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre
... o O *
Man is a bubble

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