Thursday, June 4, 2015


I just learned this from a friend yesterday, a fellow teacher.  We had just finished teaching a reading class, our chalkboard filled by our students with main points and more detailed information about Matilda, the Roald Dahl novel.  Someone had done some incredible illustrations of the chapter "The Platinum-Blond Man."  I was thinking that it would seem a waste to erase everything without first taking a photo, and my fellow teacher agreed.  "So!" she said to the class.  "If you want to, why don't you 写メ?" Half a dozen students took her advice, smart phones clicking away.   Hopefully  they'll remember that they took these pictures when final exams come around.

My friend and fellow teacher explained to me that 写メ(しゃめ, shame)is short for 写真メール, a する verb.  The 写 (sha) is the first part of 写真 (shashin), and メ (me) the first part of  メール (mail).  Technically, it means to take a picture of something and then email it to someone.  But maybe people are using it liberally, ignoring the email half of the definition.  

When I searched it on YouTube, a lot of the top results were pretty pornographic.  Not meaning to judge or condemn nudity or sexuality, but this isn't intended to be that kind of website, so I'm not posting those particular videos.  But if you want to see them I think searching 写メ on YouTube will probably bring some interesting results.  Searching 写メール actually brought me to quite different, more mainstream and family-friendly videos (i.e. lots of commercials with 写真メール in their descriptions, a number of them dating back to 2002).  It seems that 写真メール is the older version of the even further shortened 写メ.  I wonder if 写 will ever become an actual word.

Below is a G-rated video that came up from my 写メ search.  Believe me, this wholesome an example wasn't all that easy to find!

Reiwa , 令和, a new era

Reiwa , 令和 , is the name of the era just begun as Emperor Akihito abdicated to his son, Naruhito on May 1, 2019. It has stirred some cont...