Good morning, my beloved readers!
Please, forgive me if I’m back after a whole, long week (exactly one week today)! I do hope you won’t connect my posts to dreary thoughts from now on, I know I’m back on an awful date (for the few ones who didn’t notice it, today’s Friday the 13th), it’s been a hard week in many aspects, especially for my PC (it’s infected by some f*****g malware), but today I’ve realized I post-poned my posts too much (lame wordplay!), time’s running and A.Word.A.Dday. as well, so I’ve decided to close last week’s selection and publish at my own risk, I hope no-one will hack my WP account and hijack my personal information!
As told, today’s post closes last week’s theme, i.e. Words borrowed from Japanese. The first idea that I got when I read the word was ‘hey man, you’re sitting on top of the world’ (you will see ourselves why). If you are a music lover like me, you will surely know that the feeling of ‘sitting on top of the world’ is often the focus of many songs, from the Sitting on top of the world by the Mississippi Sheiks (1930) to Top of the word by the Carpenters (1972) or something a bit more recent, i.e. Brandy’s Top of the world (1998). That’s why I decided to use this expression as title for this post. Some people feel like this, many would like to feel that way, this guy does not just feel ‘like’, he is surely there, oh, lucky man …
noun: A wealthy and powerful person, especially in business or politics.
From Japanese taikun (great lord or prince), from Chinese ta (great) + kiun (prince). Earliest documented use: 1857.
The word was used as a title for the shogun of Japan. Abraham Lincoln’s aides used the word as an affectionate nickname for him. Later the word came to be applied to powerful people in business.
“Believe it or not, you can buy a $6,000 shower curtain for your home. But why would you? Former Tyco International tycoon Dennis Kozlowski did. He also spent $2,200 on a wastebasket, nearly $3,000 on coat hangers and nearly $6,000 on sheets. … ‘The prices are not out of line, but they’re off the scale when it comes to priorities,’ says Bilhuber, whose client list includes ex-AOL Time Warner honcho Robert Pittman, Michael Douglas, David Bowie and his model wife, Iman, and designer Hubert Givenchy.”
Maria Puente’ Tchotchkes of the Rich and Infamous; USA Today; Sep 27, 2002.
ITALIAN TRANSLATION: magnate, capitalista, finanziere, re (fig). Left also untranslated.
About the image on top
: When I came to decide what image would better illustrate the word tycoon, I first envisaged a man sitting on a heap of gold. Not truly exact. A tycoon is much more than this, he (or she, I must be fair) is a king, he got the power. He is on top of the world. I typed this expression and among lots of unsuitable pictures I found this one. The right one. I didn’t know it, but it’s inspired by a japanese web comic (also adapted as a manga and an anime series) called ‘Hetalia: Axis Powers
‘, based on the events of the Second world war. The young man portrayed is Sir Arthur Kirkland, i.e. the personification of the United Kingdom. As you can see, he is sitting on a heap of skulls. Honestly I would like to avoid any debate on the undisputed buccaneerish attitude of the British Empire towards the rest of the known world, after all I’m a descendant of the ancient Latins, whose reputation of relentless conquerors survived the passage of time, so how dare I talk about this subject? Back to the point, this image depicts a king. An unscrupulous, merciless king. After all, everything’s permitted in the name of power, all’s fair in love and war
. And making money is the toughest war ever. In my mind, tycoons are bloodthirsty warriors in this war. They win just because they are merciless. They can cope with their (lack of) conscience. They win, others die. Am I naive? Maybe. I could never be a tycoon, anyway. I could never come to terms with my conscience, I could never sit on my enemies’ skulls …
See you soon, folks!
Your passionate (Italian) Translator