And in (additional) honor of the Giants' World Series win...
hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Nov 4 22:06:56 UTC 2010
On Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 3:42 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
> _Thirty Seconds over Tokyo_ (1944).
During The War, the less well-known _China's Little Devils_ (1945),
together with _Crash Dive_ (1943) and _God Is My Co-Pilot_ (1945),
were movies that I considered to be the most inspirational that I'd
ever seen. Of course, at the time, I was a mere tyke six-to-eight
Odd fact: down in Texas, it was said that the good Chinese could
easily be distinguished from the bad Japanese by the fact that Chinese
eyes slanted upward, whereas Japanese eyes slitted horizontally. In
like manner, the Germans were said to have ordinary Afro-European
round eyes, whereas the EYE-talians (it was not common knowledge that
EYE-talians were also European) had eyes that slanted downward, the
mirror-image of Chinese eyes.
There was also a word, "Japtalian," whose meaning and application I've
now forgotten. (Ha! And y'all thought it wasn't *nothing* that I ever
forgot!) After wandering through my memory palace, the best that I can
come up with is that it may have been applied to any random person of
unknown ancestry, it being the case that the population of Marshall,
TX, consisted solely of blacks, whites, "Jews" (in quotes, because we
black folk couldn't wrap our minds around the fact that white folk
divided the uniform - to us - white world into "white folk" and
"Jews") and "Mexicans" (in quotes because, of course, Texas was Mexico
before it was "Texas").
"Mexican" _tamaleros_ wandered freely throughout the 'hood, selling
Tex-Mex comfort-food. Apparently, this was a quite-widespread custom.
My favorite Los Angeles taqueria was run by a black Texan. The joint
was called "El Taqueria Hoggly-Woggly." Fellow Southrons will
appreciate the pun. The best _tamal_ that I've ever tasted was bought
from a black-Texan _tamalero_ in Saint Louis.
(I'm assuming that they learned the art of Mexican cuisine from the
_tamaleros_ of their 'hoods back in Texas.)
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"––a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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