Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ancient Chinese Animal Classification System

Came across this marvellous classification system for animals on Thinking Allowed Podcast recently. Supposedly it was taken from an ancient Chinese encyclopedia by Jorge Luis Borges.

Animals are divided into:

· those that belong to the Emperor;

· embalmed ones;

· those that are trained;

· suckling pigs;

· mermaids;

· fabulous ones;

· stray dogs;

· those that are included in this classification;

· those that tremble as if they were mad;

· innumerable ones;

· those drawn with a very fine camel's hair brush;

· others;

· those that have just broken a flower vase;

· those that resemble flies from a distance.

Of course, one thing you can be sure of with the Chinese - they all fall into the "things that can be eaten category" :)

1 comment:

Zac said...

I like this a lot :)