Hey you!…..

Most of us know the difference between the intimate French tu and the more impersonal (and polite) vous. A similar distinction exists in Arabic between anta (‘you’ singular) and antum (‘you’ plural) – addressing an important person with anta (anti is the feminine version)  rather than antum would be considered impolite. In Vietnam there are no fewer than eighteen words for ‘you’, the use …

February 7th………

Ever since Portuguese traders brought tobacco to Asia in the early 16th century, Japan has smoked with gusto. But after a series of tough anti-smoking laws enacted in the mid-1990s, tobacco use plummeted. At the same time, lawsuits alleging secondhand exposure shot up. The strangest charge from this period of …