Things that grind your gears

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Zestanor
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Re: Things that grind your gears

Post by Zestanor » Fri May 15, 2020 11:59 pm

ABED wrote:
Fri May 15, 2020 10:04 pm
Speaking of Son-kun, I'm guessing -kun is suffix used to signify a friendly manner among peers, whereas -san is a little more formal. What is the signficance of Piccolo not using -kun when calling Goku "Son"? And is there any significance to him continuing to not use a suffix even after they become allies?
Kun is for subordinates in formal situations, but in common speech it’s used among young men, coming from, I guess, the time when boys greatly idolized the honor of joining a company and being called ~kun by their superiors. It was cool so it stuck among young men.

Bulma called Goku Son-kun at first because she resisted getting too friendly with him. It was the proper way to both assert distance (calling him his family name) and social and age superiority (using ~kun). She continued to call him this out of habit, even after they became good friends.

Piccolo calling Goku Son-san is like the respectible samurai thing to do. He beat him fair and square so he respects him. Calling Goku “Son-kun” would frankly be disrespectful and mocking for Piccolo. Since there is no relationship of subordination, it would make Piccolo sound very immature, certainly not like a martial artist, and it would be projecting a similar level of maturity onto Goku.

From what I remember Piccolo usually uses Son-san in polite company (think Samurai mode), but he drops the ~san in particularly macho situations (think WWE mode). There’s a mix of these in DB, and though Piccolo is antisocial, he understands social norms quite well.

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Re: Things that grind your gears

Post by MyVisionity » Sat May 16, 2020 12:56 am

Zestanor wrote:
Fri May 15, 2020 11:59 pm
Kun is for subordinates in formal situations, but in common speech it’s used among young men, coming from, I guess, the time when boys greatly idolized the honor of joining a company and being called ~kun by their superiors. It was cool so it stuck among young men.

Bulma called Goku Son-kun at first because she resisted getting too friendly with him. It was the proper way to both assert distance (calling him his family name) and social and age superiority (using ~kun). She continued to call him this out of habit, even after they became good friends.

Piccolo calling Goku Son-san is like the respectible samurai thing to do. He beat him fair and square so he respects him. Calling Goku “Son-kun” would frankly be disrespectful and mocking for Piccolo. Since there is no relationship of subordination, it would make Piccolo sound very immature, certainly not like a martial artist, and it would be projecting a similar level of maturity onto Goku.

From what I remember Piccolo usually uses Son-san in polite company (think Samurai mode), but he drops the ~san in particularly macho situations (think WWE mode). There’s a mix of these in DB, and though Piccolo is antisocial, he understands social norms quite well.
Piccolo never calls Goku "Son-san". He calls him "Son Goku", then "Son", and then sometimes "Goku".

And you don't have to be in a subordinate position to be called "-kun", nor a child. It's also used in a friendly or familiar context.

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Re: Things that grind your gears

Post by Zestanor » Sat May 16, 2020 3:08 am

MyVisionity wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 12:56 am


Piccolo never calls Goku "Son-san". He calls him "Son Goku", then "Son", and then sometimes "Goku".

And you don't have to be in a subordinate position to be called "-kun", nor a child. It's also used in a friendly or familiar context.
Honestly it’s been a while since I watched DBZ so I don’t remember. Someone important called him Son-san a lot, but if it wasn’t Piccolo then I have no idea who.

I’m no scholar of Japanese so I will yield to you, but from what I understand, the original sense of -kun is as a suffix applied to subordinates in hierarchies, which, historically, only males would exist in. All the other senses in which it’s used are derived from that, which is why it sounds jarring, but not in a subversive way (like -chan for a grown man is), when applied to females. Using -kun in the derivative sense is metaphorical speech. You and your buddies are inserting yourselves into a theoretical military cohort or feudal court and calling each other that way. Or something. (This is probably all bullshit but I’m writing it anyway as though I know what I’m talking about).

Except, since it’s a fabrication, it has a youthful connotation to it, such that your sensibility in calling men your age -kun decreases with age. Close childhood friends could retain it, but new friends in middle age... not so much.

So, Piccolo wouldn’t call Goku Son-kun because they aren’t buddies and never have been.

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Re: Things that grind your gears

Post by MyVisionity » Sat May 16, 2020 4:07 am

Zestanor wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 3:08 am
MyVisionity wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 12:56 am


Piccolo never calls Goku "Son-san". He calls him "Son Goku", then "Son", and then sometimes "Goku".

And you don't have to be in a subordinate position to be called "-kun", nor a child. It's also used in a friendly or familiar context.
Honestly it’s been a while since I watched DBZ so I don’t remember. Someone important called him Son-san a lot, but if it wasn’t Piccolo then I have no idea who.

I’m no scholar of Japanese so I will yield to you, but from what I understand, the original sense of -kun is as a suffix applied to subordinates in hierarchies, which, historically, only males would exist in. All the other senses in which it’s used are derived from that, which is why it sounds jarring, but not in a subversive way (like -chan for a grown man is), when applied to females. Using -kun in the derivative sense is metaphorical speech. You and your buddies are inserting yourselves into a theoretical military cohort or feudal court and calling each other that way. Or something. (This is probably all bullshit but I’m writing it anyway as though I know what I’m talking about).

Except, since it’s a fabrication, it has a youthful connotation to it, such that your sensibility in calling men your age -kun decreases with age. Close childhood friends could retain it, but new friends in middle age... not so much.

So, Piccolo wouldn’t call Goku Son-kun because they aren’t buddies and never have been.

Thanks for that explanation, it sounds accurate enough. I understood the professional usage, I was just saying that it didn't necessarily have to carry that context.

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