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Saturday, April 23, 2005

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex... euhm... Ring(u)

Ring fans unite, the Ringworld website is dedicated to the Ring in all its incarnations: the films, original novels, television specials, comic books and more.

Lots of information and a pretty good faq at times. I'm really surprised at how many spin-offs there are.

Q: Which title is correct: Ring, the Ring, or Ringu?

A: Because the Japanese language doesn't utilize articles (a, an, the), ultimately the decision to include them (or not) depends on the translator. Additionally, Japanese sounds are vowel-consonant pairings, so the word "ring" would sound like ringu (not a long sound as in "goo," but a short, clipped "u"). The transcription of Japanese into English has a long and uneven history: ultimately there are guidelines but no rules. That being said, I personally think that "Ringu" just looks goofy.

For the record, poster art for the film (and two printings of the paperback editions of the novels) bears the title in Japanese script with the English rendering "the Ring." Please note the lower-case "t," as the convention is also used on this website to refer to the original film.

Q: What's the significance of the title Ring?

A: The following is a quote from author Suzuki Koji, which originally appeared in a promotional pamphlet for Ring Ø:

"Actually, when I was writing the Ring I got about halfway through and hadn’t thought of a title yet. I happened to be thumbing through an English-Japanese dictionary when I decided it was about time to decide on something. And then the word 'ring' passed my eye. I had a strong feeling that it would fit. 'Ring' is usually used as a noun, isn’t it? But there's also a verb usage of ring, meaning 'to call someone,' or 'to call out,' such as an alarm clock or phone ringing. I liked this. And so from the beginning I didn’t exactly use the name Ring in the circular sense. But since I gave it that title, a lot of circular things have turned up in the story. The spiral, the DNA double helix, the loop, and so on. I guess it’s a good thing I chose that title."

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