Instigator / Pro

obi wan is a belt and a soup bowl


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

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After 4 votes and with 5 points ahead, the winner is...

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Number of rounds
Time for argument
Three days
Max argument characters
Voting period
One week
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Multiple criterions
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Round 1
Obi means belt in japanese, wan refers to a type of soup bowl. Did you think I meant Obi Wan from Star Wars? Well that can't be because I didn't capitalize it and a person or character's name is a proper noun.

In this page you can see that "wan" is a word for "bowl" although "Boru" is used as the primary example. "Boru" is actually a modified version of the english "bowl" pronunciation.

Round 2
Obi means belt, wan means bowl.

This debate is in the English language. The proof is in every single word following 'wan' being impossible to express in Japanese and hold coherently. 

'Wan' is the alternative context and meaning of bowl in Japanese, not 'bōru'. 'Bōru; is bowl, in Japanese. Wan is more a very specific context of it. Even so, let's analyse what 'obi wan' is.

A Belt bowl is an incoherent term. It's not a united noun-phrase and the first isn't an adjective. Obi and wan aren't connected by hyphenation, they are separated by a space. So Obi wan 'is' not anything. Obi and Wan are a belt in Japanese and a 'soup' bowl in Japanese.

This resolution is about what the united term is and is written in the English language. The proof is that Japanese is written in symbols totally different to the letters that Pro wrote the resolution of this debate in.

Is vs. Are with a Number of / a Pair of / a Group of
Collecting phrases like a number of or a pair of can make it hard to choose between isand are. Which verb do you use when you’re talking about a number of people? On one hand, number is singular, which calls for is. But people is plural, which calls for are. Typically, it’s best to use are with a number of. You may occasionally run into a pedant who disagrees, but actual usage is on your side.

A number of people are concerned about the lack of progress.

A number of people is concerned about the lack of progress.

Other collecting phrases like group of can take is when you’re emphasizing the group:

That group of protesters is sure to be distracting.

This series of books is phenomenal.

But they can also take are, when you’re emphasizing the individuals.

A bunch of my friends are going to different schools next fall.

A handful of new books are published each week.

When you’re talking about pairs, you’re usually treating two items as a unit, so it’s common to use is.

A good pair of shoes is a luxury in some parts of the world.
A good pair of shoes are a luxury in some parts of the world.

One language, two systems, three scripts
If you are a complete beginner, Japanese writing may appear just like Chinese.
But if you look at it more carefully you'll notice that it doesn’t just contain complex Chinese characters… there are lots of simpler ones too.

Take a look.


Nevertheless, the eating habits of Japanese people are also rapidly changing. Hamburgers and curry rice are popular with children. In cities, ethnic restaurants serving Italian cuisine, Southeast Asiancuisine and multi-national cuisine keep increasing more and more.
(Source: “Japan: Then and Now”, 2001, p. 62-63)

As you can see from this sample, within one Japanese text there are actually three different scriptsintertwined. We’ve colour coded them to help you tell them apart.
(What’s really interesting is the different types of words – parts of speech – represented by each colour – it tells you a lot about what you use each of the three scripts for.)

Can you see the contrast between complex characters (orange) and simpler ones (blue and green)?

The complex characters are called kanji (漢字 lit. Chinese characters) and were borrowed from Chinese. They are what’s called a ‘logographic system' in which each symbol corresponds to a block of meaning (食 ‘to eat', 南 ‘south', 国 ‘country').

Each kanji also has its own pronunciation, which has to be learnt – you can’t “read” an unknown kanjilike you could an unknown word in English.

Luckily, the other two sets of characters are simpler!

Those in blue above are called hiragana and those in green are called katakana. They’re both examples of ‘syllabic systems', and unlike the kanji, each sound corresponds to single sound. For example, そ= so, れ= re; イ= i, タ = ta.

Hiragana and katakana are a godsend for Japanese learners because the pronunciation isn’t a problem. If you see it, you can say it!

So, at this point, you’re probably wondering:
“What’s the point of using three different types of script? How could that have come about?”

In fact, all these scripts have a very specific role to play in a piece of Japanese writing, and you’ll find that they all work together in harmony in representing the Japanese language in a written form.
Round 3
Obi wan is a belt and a soup bowl.

The debate resolution is written in English.