'Another victim of Andy Sakai reportedly was Kerri Baker, a college freshman, who paid $50 for ''Beautiful Goddess'' in Japanese above her belly button. When she went into a noodle shop with a bare midriff, chortling sushi chefs explained her tattoo read, ''Insert General Tso's Chicken Here''. ''I don't even like General Tso's,'' Baker sobbed. ''I'm a vegetarian.''
'Why emblazon yourself with signs you can't read? Why wed in a lingo you don't speak? Why do things sound so good in another language? Why does gobbledegook like a Latin Mass or a Gregorian chant speak to a congregation with a resonance not even Shakespeare can match? Indeed, as we drift further and further from the linguistic idiom in which Shakespeare wrote, and each generation finds him murkier and murkier, might it be that he becomes a greater playwright still? H.L. Mencken, upon hearing a stump politician holding forth to a rapt crowd, said, ''Only let them hear the thunder and they'll take the rest on faith.''
'Who among us has not been to the opera and thrilled to the sound of a diva singing in Italian, knowing her fate and that of the world hung on every note? And who among us has not listened to that same stanza sung in English and been amazed to discover she's trilling a backstory involving her brother-in-law's pastry-chef's use of lard, and had the music ruined by this clarity?'