No blooming excuse, can’t write it as ゆううつ anymore

The head-banging began, as it so often does, in the App Store.

iTunes flagged one of my apps (a kanji learning tool) for a fresh update. As usual, I kicked off the download and opened the app’s store page for more information on the changes.

Up top for the screenshot.

Back down for the commentary.

In five words: Dash it all to heck.

One hears of rabbits breeding like rabbits, but one isn’t ordinarily tempted to apply the same observation to the beautiful – and often maddeningly indecipherable – masses of squiggles that make up a large part of written moonspeak.

The news has been out since last year, but I’ve been so wrapped up in work that keeping track of the changes in another nation’s orthographic torture devices tended not to rank very high in my list of priorities.

With my current knowledge limited to a few hundred of these things, it was a bit of a shock (and not of the particularly pleasant variety) to learn that I would have to familiarise myself with nearly 200 more before I earn my Level 1 wings.

Among them: 鬱.

Yes, that’s right – anyone endeavouring to write the full title of 2006’s overhyped megahit in its original form will be expected to scratch out every single stroke of this little monster as part of the murderous exercise. All 29 of them.