Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Guide to propitious properties -- feng shui


feng shui (fung SHWAY) noun
Describing the network of intangible influences, positive and negative, that some believe to operate in a place, knowledge of which is necessary in discovering the most propitious site for putting up a building, staging an event, etc.

[From Chinese feng (wind) and shui (water).]

Like ying and yang, feng shui is a new western import of an old philosophical or mythological idea from the other side of the world. In the East, feng shui may be used in siting graves, but in the West it seems to operate mostly at the home-improvement level. A pretentious term perhaps, but that's part of its marketing appeal.

"Gervais is amused that his workplace has recently been described by one journalist as 'minimalist', as if this was all deliberate, and the product of an expensive feng shui consultation."
-- Matthew D'Ancona; Fact. There is Life After The Office; The Daily Telegraph (London, UK); Nov 22 2004.

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