Teach Yourself Japanese
Subject: さ【左】, みぎ【右】 used in vertical/horizontal writing
From: Brandin (chaotic_thoughtyahoo.com)
Date: Wed, 13 May 2009 00:35:27 GMT
Reading about the word さ【左】, I found that this seems to be used in essays written vertically to denote "the following" or some point that comes later. In English writing you might encounter "below" used in a similar way: "see below", "discussed below", etc, because things that are later are literally "below" on the page.
1. The dictionaries list 左（さ） with on-yomi in this context but 右（みぎ） using kun-yomi in the same context. A minor detail, but I am a little curious if there is a reason for this seeming difference. I couldn't find a stand-alone entry for う【右】.
2. As horizontal writing is becoming more widely used now, are these literary expressions disappearing? Is it considered bad style or "wrong" to use 左 to refer to something later if you know your article will be published horizontally? For example, most newspapers are printed vertically, but if the same article appears online, it will almost always be presented horizontally to the reader.
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