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Doing English

Death by Pollen

in The Doing English Blog

The spring in Tokyo is beautiful.

Truly it is.

But it’s also total hell.

Why? Hayfever.

After the second world, someone somewhere through it’d be a good idea to plant loads of cedar and cypress trees. Like, LOADS of them. Massive great forests of the things.At the time it was fine…

But then Tokyo got built up… and up… and up… and concrete covered more and more of the ground. Suddenly there was nowhere for the pollen to go.

Result?

Unexpected Tokyo Spring Hell.

Widespread hayfever.

Death by pollen.

Up until two years ago, I wasn’t affected by it… but last year it started. Itchy eyes. Slight headache. Constant sneezing.

There is a lesson to learn from all this, though. You can’t predict what’s going to happen. The societies we live in are massive, complex adaptive systems. And something done now can result in massive, unexpected change later.

Seems like planting all those trees is a good idea… until years later you realise what a dumb thing to do it was.

This is true of much of life, really.

Including English.

Many people complain that they can’t stop translating in their head when they speak English. But the main reason this happens… is because of (1) the way they study and (2) WHAT they study. I go into detail in my book, Think English, Speak English.

Best,
Julian

P.S. If you have a problem with translating in your head… check out my book, Think English, Speak English. You can read the first chapter free on Kindle — here.

 

 

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