1) A Wordorigins thread made me realize I didn’t know anything about the word candy (I never did have much of a sweet tooth). So I looked it up in the OED:
[a. F. candi in sucre candi; cf. It. zucchero candi […], med.L. saccharum candi; a. Arab., orig. Pers. qand sugar, the crystallized juice of the sugar-cane (whence Arab. qandah candy, qandi candied); of Indian origin, cf. Skr. khanda ‘piece’, also ‘sugar in crystalline pieces’, f. khand to break. As in the other langs., the full SUGAR CANDY (q.v.) appears much earlier than the simple candy.]
1. Crystallized sugar, made by repeated boiling and slow evaporation, more fully called SUGAR CANDY; also any confection made of, or incrusted with this. (In U.S. used more widely than in Great Britain, including toffee, and the like.)
[c1420 Liber Cocorum 7 With sugur candy thou may hit dowce. 1543 TRAHERON tr. Vigo’s Chirurg. Interpr. Straunge Wds., A syrupe they calle sugre candie.] 1769 MRS. RAFFALD Eng. Housekpr. 241 To a pound of double refined sugar put two spoonfuls of water, skim it well, and boil it almost to a candy, when it is cold, drain your plums out of the first syrup, and put them in the thick syrup. 1808-17 FOSTER in Life & Corr. (1846) I. lxxv. 410 Handing round candies and cowslip wine. 1844 EMERSON Young Amer. in Wks. (Bohn) II. 302 One man buys.. a land title.. and makes his posterity princes; and the other buys barley candy. […]
I didn’t even know it was short for sugar candy. And I wouldn’t have been able to make even an educated guess about how it was used in the U.K., if at all; a commenter at Wordorigins who grew up in southeast England knew it only from the phrase candy floss (what we Americans call “cotton candy”) and added “when I was small I don’t think I had any idea what the word meant; it was just a name for this particular sugary stuff.” Does this accord with the experience of my readers from across the Atlantic?
2) Eve Kushner, who just got back from what sounds like a wonderful (and multilingual) visit to Europe, sent me a link to this webpage, which itself links to a page (pdf, HTML cache) called “Hawaiian in Kanji.” Yes, that’s right, Hawaiian written in kanji:
Unlike English, Hawaiian has a structure well adapted to being written in kanji. In some ways, Hawaiian is even better adapted to being written in kanji than is Japanese. Most meanings in Hawaiian are symbolized by a single word, as in Chinese. While resembling Chinese in having meanings symbolized by a single word, Hawaiian resembles Japanese in its sound structure with a concise set of syllables that form words through endless combinations. Dr. Wilson realized that Hawaiian could be written on an East Asian model either syllabically or through single words….
Learning to read Hawaiian in kanji has strengthened the overall reading ability of students in Hawaiian since it reinforces the successful Hawaiian system of reading by syllables while pushing students to move on to the larger units of words. Linguists have shown that logographic-based kanji are stored in a separate part of the brain from the phonemic-based letters of the Roman alphabet, thus exercising a different part of their mind. Similarly, cognitive psychologists have shown that learning to recognize and write kanji strengthens cognitive abilities that relate to geometry….
Hawaiian reading of kanji has connected the students of Nāwahīokalani’ōpu’u School with the broader community of descendants of East Asians in Hawai’i and with ancestral homelands in Asia. It has allowed students to see the parallels in the traditional Hawaiian hakalama syllabary with Japanese hiragana and katakana as well. The kanji have attracted considerable interest in visitors from East Asia who can read the Hawaiian logographic kanji with the same meanings as they are read in Hawaiian. There is now strengthened interest in students at Nāwahīokalani’ōpu’u to visit East Asia. There is also a better understanding of how Chinese characters spread out from China to a larger world, that now includes Hawai’i.