寧→宁

rypervenche Posted in 簡化
0

Here is a character that I initially had trouble remembering, but after learning its etymology I have never forgotten it.

This beautiful character is a 會意.


For fun let’s look at 小篆 version. (These are real versions of the characters scanned from the 說文解字 if I’m not mistaken, except for 宀 because I couldn’t be arsed to crop it out of a normal character)


So what does all of this mean? 宀 means roof, 心 means heart, 皿 means plate, 丂 here is something like 示(alter). Over time the 丂 changed to 丁. So where heart in is the home (under the roof), and where food is on the table/alter is where it is peaceful or serene. And that is the meaning of this character, serenity, peace; peaceful.

It makes perfect sense.

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


So all of the meaning has been stripped from this 會意, and it remains nothing more than 2 graphemes, one on top of the other. One could go so far as to say that it is now a 形聲, however, the fact that 丁 rhymes with 寧 is a lucky coincidence and no dictionary would call it so.

So while you do remove 9 strokes, you also remove the meaning of the character. If you are THAT worried about the number of strokes, then why not remove the Chinese characters altogether and make the written language an alphabet?

 

But wait! there’s more! 宁 is actually another character entirely! 宁(zhù) means “to store". So now we have one character with two meanings in simplified Chinese and even more confusion. *sadface*