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Learn Chinese in China

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Auspicious-name-by-stroke-count bullshit




Some of you might have seen this before in various forms, but here I refer to the one on pinyin.info.

Of course, anyone who knows a bit about Chinese characters could come up with a load of reasons why that is a load of bullshit. I give you the following facts (or if they're not facts, correct me with citations) which may be used to disprove the bullshit:

  • The first Chinese characters are pictograms and ideograms. These varied in "stroke count," even when written (or carved or whatever) the same way.
  • When they became glyphs, their usage and writing became arbitrary, and still varied.
  • When compound characters were created, writing still varied.
  • Only during the Ming Dynasty (i.e. late after the development of kaishu) did anyone reasonably care about stroke count.
  • Different variants may have different stroke counts.
  • The Kangxi dictionary method is only one method of counting strokes.


Give one reason why the chart is bullshit.



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I don't see your point, of course it is a load of garbage, simply because it is a superstition. But I don't see their claim as having anything remotely to do with the history or formation of the characters. The page simply states that SOME traditional beliefs consider SOME stroke counts lucky or unlucky, regardless of how or why they got those stroke counts. They would probably give the reason that those names were "predestined" to have those stroke numbers. 2. People who believe in such things probably would take advantage of the fact that strokes are varied and would probably adjust the writing of their name with a different stroke... I remember a very humorous english variation of this in an "I love lucy" episode on numerology. In the episode Lucy was trying to change everyones name to their "right" name, based on the number of letters in the name and their birthday. Superstition is Superstition no matter where you come from

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