Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 正

Looking at this new Chinese character 正 carefully, you might have realized that it is composed of 一 and 止. So it must mean something related to foot? That is surprising, to be honest, I myself did not notice that before.

To gain a better idea, let us examine its evolution history first as usual: (image get from http://www.vividict.com)
Learn one Chinese Character a day - 正
Oracle Script is drawing of foot () walking towards the gate / place (). It means to go straight to the target place.  That is the original meaning of it, eventually  was extended to mean straight (adj) or straightly (adv), for example 正南.

As we have already mentioned before, with pictures, it is not practical to draw it differently to represent adj or adv. Thus same Chinese character can be used as noun, verb, adj or adv depends on how it is used in a phrase.

Based on its initial meaning of being straight or straightly, 正 was extended to contain meanings as right, for example 正确. Since also contains the meaning of walking towards a target place, 正 also has meaning of in doing something. for example 正忙.

Now let us get back to the history on how 正 evolved along the path as Oracle Script ,, to Bronze Script  and Seal Script , we can see that during later stage of Oracle Script and Bronze Script, people found it easier to carve instead of on hard surface of shell or metal, when it came to writing on bamboo sticks, Chinese ancestors made it even easier to draw just a . I feel it is a common behavior of human being that we try our best to simplify the repeating routines as much as possible.

Now let us end our lesson today with a Chinese calligraphy of 正:

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