Charlie Weiss
Charlie Weiss asked:

What the hell is up with the choppy, grammatically incorrect sentences? They're driving me crazy...

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Amanda It's the grammatical aspects of English that are different in many Asian languages. My MIL is Vietnamese & I quickly recognized much of the syntax/grammar from her speech. You will hear it a lot if you've ever traveled to SE Asia & listened to the way the locals speak English. Grammar is the hardest thing to master in a 2nd language. The Americans are adapting their syntax/grammar to match the way the ruling Japanese speak English. Personally, I thought it was really nice detail.
Katharina Huang Objectively I understand this is part of the "Japanization" and I admire Philip Dick's level of execution; this is hands down one of the classics with great ideas for world-building, and many issues were discussed. But personally, the grammar and the esoteric vocabulary are seriously getting on my nerves. Adding on the fact that this book is unexpectedly way more political than my taste, I just want it to freaking end already.
Michael I took it as the broken English (or broken Japanese) of the various characters in the book attempting to communicate. I actually thought it was indicative of the fact that there were still hurdles to overcome in the integration of Americans in the PSA.
Bill Herron Drove me crazy the whole time. Really distracted from the story.
Sean Ashton It is all about the subservience of the conquered people towards their rulers, in their parody of the Japanese speaking English.
Katie I agree. It's driving me crazy. It reads like a rough draft, not a final copy. It's not just when Japanese characters are speaking, because that was my first thought. It's the absolute most annoying thing ever.
BAC
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Daniel Woodward I find it interesting that Anthony Burgess's novel A Clockwork Orange was also published in 1962. It featured speech with a Russian based slang.
Jim Davis I realized after a couple of chapters was this was the way Asians often speak English due to the great difference in grammar. I spent a tour on Okinawa in in the Army in the late '60's and developed some interest in Japanese culture. The English spoken by the Japanese in TMITHC isn't just grammatically different it is also a representation of the "polite" form of Japanese translated to English. The Okinawan;s who worked in the "entertainment" sector spoke the same choppy English but without the formal, overly conscious style of upper class Japanese. It appears that this style of speaking English has been picked up by most west coast Americans in the book either to please the victors of the war or just through it's constant use around them.
Edward Rountree
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Sully Augustine Back in my younger days I covered township meetings for a local newspaper. One of the politicians took great umbrage at a slightly paraphrased quote I included in an article even though I judged it to be a fair representation of what he said. So I promised him I would quote him exactly in all cases. And I did, with every "um," "ah," grammatical error, usage error, run on sentence, complete loss of his train of thought in the midst of a sentence, nonsense phrase, etc. My editor loved it, the politician not so much, and he eventually took me to lunch and made a peace we could both live with.
None of us speak the way we write.
Laura Japanese doesn't really have articles and pronouns are rarely used (I had to look it up bc it was driving me nuts at first too), so I assume it's to demonstrate the colonizer's influence on the local culture/language.
Josephine Draper I actually really liked this. My thinking was that it was a clever way of indicating that when there were choppy sentences, the characters were speaking Japanese.
Tony Philpin I'd only add that there is a stream of consciousness element too, hence disjointed
Sue exactly. they are meant to indicate that the entire country - the PAcific States of America - has adopted the style of the Japanese, who leave out certain words when they use English. I think its masterful
Bethia I know!!! I agree with the others who assume it is an attempt to characterize Japanese speaking bad English. I am not pleased.
Josh Philip K. Dick writes like this as one of his gimmicks. His Minority Report is not only worse, but it was also released as a spine-on-top novella.
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