風→风

So that last post irked me a little bit. 風. Let’s take a look at it.

風 ety


風 is comprised of 凡(fán, all) and 虫(chóng, insect). It seems to be slightly disputed on its etymology, but both make sense. One way views 凡 as the phonetic component and 虫 is its semantic component; think bugs flying in the wind 😉 . Another is just that, 凡 as a sail with 虫 flying in the wind. Regardless, it has some sense and most agree that 凡 is the phonetic component.


Now let’s take a look at the simplified version.

風cn ety2

So what do we have here? 几(jī, table) and 㐅(wǔ, five). This㐅 is the archaic form of 五. So now this character has no meaning, it makes no sense. Five inside table? We might as well make up anything we like. There is no point in keeping the shape if it has lost its meaning. A few squiggly lines would portray more meaning to what wind is than this.

While it is easy to write and remember, if all the Chinese characters were made up like this, the language would be a difficult one and would not last for centuries as it has before.