pu

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pu in sitelen pona
pu in sitelen sitelen
A stack of copies of the book Toki Pona: The Language of Good, fanned across a table
A stack of copies of the book Toki Pona: The Language of Good, fanned across a table
Pronunciation /pu/ 🔊 🔊
Usage 2023: Core (96% ↗︎ )2022: Core (94%)
Book and era nimi pu
Part of speech Content word
Codepoint 󱥕 U+F1955

pu is a core content word defined as "interacting with the official Toki Pona book". This generally refers to words and ways of speaking that are featured in Toki Pona: The Language of Good.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The etymology of the word pu is uncertain. Proposals include English book and Chinese / (pinyin: ), literally meaning "unworked wood", but which is used as a Daoist metaphor for the natural state of humanity.[1] It was coined by jan Sonja before the publication of the book.[citation needed]

Semantic space[edit | edit source]

This text is interacting with Toki Pona: The Language of Good, so by some definitions, it is pu.

The semantic space of pu includes interacting in any way with the book Toki Pona: The Language of Good. It may also refer to the book itself. As a modifier, it includes anything relating to the book, and it is sometimes used as a reference frame. For example, tenpo pu can refer to "the era of Toki Pona: The Language of Good", starting with its publication. Earth can be called mun pu nanpa wan, "the first celestial body to interact with Toki Pona: The Language of Good".

Extensions[edit | edit source]

Caution: The subject of this section is nonstandard and will not be understood by most speakers.
It is recommended to familiarize yourself with the standard style, and to be informed and selective about which nonstandard styles you adopt.

Due to the wording of its definition, pu is sometimes extended to unintuitive interactions. For a practical example, a surface upon which a copy of Toki Pona: The Language of Good is resting would be supa pu, even though it is not engaging with the text content of the book. A similar common joke is that the book should not be called pu in general, but a stack of copies is pu, since each copy is "interacting" with another.

Rarely, pu is extended to mean "official", to refer to other authoritative documents such as a constitution, or to describe conventional and standard language as opposed to slang.[2]

pu[edit | edit source]

In the "Official Toki Pona Dictionary" section, the book Toki Pona: The Language of Good defines pu as:

ADJECTIVE  interacting with the official Toki Pona book

ku[edit | edit source]

For Toki Pona Dictionary, respondents in ma pona pi toki pona translated these English words as pu:[2]

interact with Toki Pona: The Language of Good5, officially2

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

Title page version

The sitelen pona glyph for pu (󱥕) represents a simplified drawing of the book's cover, or alternatively, the book radical (lipu) with the combined glyph for toki pona inside.

History[edit | edit source]

This section contains historical information that is presented for completeness, and may not reflect current usage.

A misconception before the publication of the book was that the word pu was used as a comma to avoid certain misinterpretations.[3] This was first cited in the French Wikipedia article about Toki Pona from 2005.[4]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. jan Mato (9 January 2010). "Re: What is pu". Toki Pona Forums. Retrieved 17 November 2023.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 336.
  3. jan Te [janTe] (30 December 2009). "Re: nimi sin sin (eĉ plu novaj vortoj, even more new words)". "Hmmm. I wonder if pu is intended to avoid confusion caused by words like tawa and poka which can be both modifiers and prepositions. Maybe pu can be placed before the prepositional usages". Toki Pona Forums. Retrieved 17 November 2023.
  4. Wikipedia. Toki pona. "Un mot alternatif contesté est pu, il agit comme une sorte de virgule pour éviter certains contresens. Ce mot est rejetté par la norme officielle mais il est utilisé ci et là." [A contested alternative word is pu, it acts like a kind of comma to avoid certain misinterpretations. This word is rejected by the official norm but it is used here and there]. French Wikipedia. Archived 25 December 2005. Retrieved 17 November 2023.

Further reading[edit | edit source]