Paralysis Through Analysis


As an intellectual, I am well adapted to things that need to be thought out. Unfortunately there is much in life that requires more than just calculation. When I was taking a continuing ed. class in Japanese; there was a man who always sat in front, but always got hung up. He needed to understand the reason for everything before he could process it. In language, a lot of things defy reasonable explanation.

My friend in the class defined this situation as “paralysis through analysis”. When I am studying Japanese or Shuji, I find that I have to avoid falling into this trap. When I’m memorizing kanji, analysis and repetition are just fine.

Today I was studying causative verbs and reviewing “I hear that…”, “It seems that…”, and “It looks like…” sentence patterns. The three sentence patterns are very similar and I kept over thinking the conditions necessary for each. Once I got myself wound around the axle on that, I couldn’t concentrate on forming the causative in class. Sometimes you just have to relax and let things flow… certainly making strong, clean strokes in shuji exercise requires that.

We have a verb, sugiru (過ぎる), which can be combined with other verbs to express the concept of ‘excessive’ or ‘too much’. Over thinking is kangaesugiru (考え過ぎる). Over eating is tabesugiru (食べ過ぎる). Chatting too much is shabesugiru (喋過ぎる).


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