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Is this a couplet?



One might see pairs of lines of words hung up on either side of doors around this time of year. They're supposed to be couplets. The link below shows one I saw today. Is it a couplet?


OK, so I'll give you that it isn't a couplet. The question is why.

Quiz: Name one thing wrong with this "couplet."

Extra credit: Name all things wrong with this "couplet."

Extra extra credit: Write an acceptable left line for the right line "延年益壽開泰運."

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As far as I know, there are at least these problems:

  • The parts of speech do not match. 延年益壽開泰運 makes most sense as verb noun verb noun verb adjective noun. 和氣致祥兆康福 makes most sense as adjective noun verb adjective noun adjective noun.
  • The characters in one line and their corresponding character in the other don't have much to do with each other, except the 康-泰 and 運-福 pairs.
  • The tone pattern is wrong. 延年益壽開泰運 is 平平仄仄平仄仄. That means the next line has to be at least *仄*平*平平 where * is a wildcard, but preferably 仄仄平平仄平平. 和氣致祥兆康福 is 平仄仄平仄平仄. This is wrong in two ways: (1) The left line in any spring couplet (春聯) must end in 平 and (2) only by having the last syllable 平 can the tone pattern be the inverse of that of the even-ordered characters in the right line.

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