Today we are going to look at . Surprisingly this character is not included in most fonts, so don’t be alarmed if you cannot see it on your computer. I will be using an image instead of the actual character to avoid any problems.
is pronounced tǐng. It is made up 丿(piě) and 土(tǔ, earth). Originally, this character was made from 人(rén, man, human) and 土(tǔ, earth) as you can see below.
(人) + (土) = ()
So why are we talking about this character? Well, it usually serves as a phonetic component for characters. However, since most people no longer recognize it, they now see it as 壬(rén) or 王(wáng,wàng), which is incorrect. Let’s look at a few characters where is used.
Be sure not to write these with 王 or 壬, the differences are very slight, but they are nonetheless there.
Here are the same 4 characters in 小篆.
They were even harder to spot the differences back in the day.
Here is the rule as stated by the Taiwan Ministry of Education（台灣教育部）
※CNS11643 shows several pronunciations, however I believe they are all based on similar-looking characters, e.g., 正(zhēng)、壬(rén)、王(wáng,wàng)、and 玉(yù).