Tohu-Bohu

A few weeks ago I ran across a term in one of my favorite books, a French-English-Chinese dictionary published by one of my new favorite publishers (Youfeng in the 13th arrondissement of Paris).

The term is “tohu-bohu,” meaning confusion or hubbub…and after some searching, I have found it to be quite controversial! This wonderful posting by a young and insouciant linguist elevates the term to one ripe for denunciation; it is, he argues, “a word which must be forgotten.” Apparently too much contact with Zola’s Germinal has rendered it a relic of the 19th century. But it is easily remembered thereby!

Much more on Youfeng’s new offerings and Chinese theater forthwith!

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