Teach Yourself Japanese
Subject: Re: さ【左】, みぎ【右】 used in vertical/horizontal writing
From: TAKASUGI Shinji (tssf.airnet.ne.jp)
Date: Mon, 25 May 2009 02:00:36 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.
> Two questions:
> 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】.
Really? I use on-yomi in both cases, like 左図 and 右図. However, it's true that we rarely say ひだりず for the former while we often say みぎず for the latter. ひだり just sounds too long.
> 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.
Instead of 右記 (mentioned in the right) and 左記 (mentioned in the left), you can use 前記 (mentioned previously) and 後記 (mentioned later). It is more common, however, to use 上記 (mentioned above) and 下記 (mentioned below), as the horizontal writing is the de facto standard of digital documents.
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