Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pedantic Malanoski Rant on the misspelling of Osu!


OK, here it is. I’m not going to win some people's popularity contest with this one. But I figure that since I’m already listed as Public Enemy # “fill in the blank,” this can’t hurt any. Add sarcastic chuckle………..

Being a practitioner of a westernized version of an oriental art co notates enough scrutiny and arduous self justification already, without adding fuel to the fire by acting in one of the following categories when it comes to the use of Japanese terminology:
UNLETTERED implies ignorance of the knowledge gained by reading . UNTUTORED may imply lack of schooling in the arts and ways of civilization . UNLEARNED suggests ignorance of advanced subjects .

The Nihon Go = Japanese language, word Osu!, that we see so often used in the martial arts, literally translates as “Push On.”, as seen on the doors of grocery stores in Okinawa. It is used by some practitioners of martial arts as a reminder or promise to keep on pushing on through adversity. It is also used as a greeting between males. Although in the west, chauvinism is not as popular as in the east, so females are not out of place to use it. Osu!, is often used like a verbal bow or salute, or a slang word for yes, or understood, or like the Hawaiian Aloha, meaning hello and or good bye.

Other translations of the phonetic sound of osu are:

To infer / to conclude / support

To apply pressure from above.

To stamp, “as in stamp a passport.”

Sensei Urban used phonetic spelling in order for the westerners who were not acquainted with the vowels of Nihon Go = Ahh Ehh Eeee Oh Oooo, to be able to pronounce the words. However much time has elapsed since the martial arts were first introduced to the west, and the time has already come for everyone to jump on the band wagon, and come in for the big win, so to speak.

The following misspellings used by many mistakenly for osu have the following meanings.

Oss is not a word. Although it is however an Urban ism, so in respect for The Sensei, I suppose it’s ok, but don’t say that you were not warned that it is not a word in Nihon Go!
Osui means filthy water, or sewage.
Ousu means weak.
Ush is not a word.
Ushi means cattle, cow, beef, ox “Chinese Zodiac,” barb of a feather, tooth decay.

If you think that this rant is bad, try going to the following site:

I also highly suggest that the reader uses the Japanese to English dictionary site, found in our links section on the lower right hand corner of this page.