The existential chaos of “tide comes in, tide goes out”


Literally: right – travel – left – travel

Alternately: Disorder. Moving back and forth without clear aims or results. Much confusion and going to-and-fro. My sources seem to disagree about whether it’s primarily referring to one person in a state of confusion, or many people together in a state of chaos, so either situation is probably okay.

Notes: It seems that some versions of this compound voice the sa, pronouncing it as za, but even if considered legitimate, this is extremely rare and should probably be avoided.

If writing this compound by hand, make sure not to leave out a single stroke and write as ; the meaning and pronunciation are both completely different.


It’s a pun! (王 – also pronounced ou – is “king.”) Appropriate, too, since the 左 is backwards.

About Confanity

I love the written word more than anything else I've had the chance to work with. I'm back in the States from Japan for grad school, but still studying Japanese with the hope of becoming a translator -- or writer, or even teacher -- as long as it's something language-related.
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2 Responses to The existential chaos of “tide comes in, tide goes out”

  1. Pingback: Like yourself; like Mt. Tai | landofnudotcom

  2. Pingback: Row, row, row your bye | landofnudotcom

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