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On 2/2/2023 at 2:05 PM, Demonic_Duck said:

[deleted lol, didn't this forum use to have a delete post function?]

You can report your own post and ask a moderator to delete it. If it doesn't interfere with the flow of the discussion, we usually do. Happens mostly with accidental double posts.

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On 2/2/2023 at 11:52 AM, Jim said:

沆瀣一气 as a phrase means collusion or wallowing in the same mire, 沆瀣 is apparently an archaic term for a night miasma. Not seen either character before.


This is actually a word I encountered quite early on my Chinese journey, thanks to this!

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Yeah, 丅人 according to Pleco. Even if it had evolved separately, it'd be tough to visually distinguish it from 不 if the stroke order was the same — it's already virtually identical at a glance. My guess is it wouldn't have been assigned a separate Unicode code point if the stroke order was the same... I feel like there are probably other examples of convergent character evolution that are thought of as "the same character" and share the same Unicode code point, but I can't think of one right now.

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On 12/25/2010 at 5:30 AM, anonymoose said:

Three very useful words for the nuclear scientists among you:

piē 氕 protium

dāo 氘 deuterium

chuān 氚 tritium

I just wanted to post these three and found they are already known here since 2010.

I love the sub-atomic pictographic aspect.

But I have questions.

Of course, these characters are not passed on since Qin-dynasty. 
Either they were invented in 20th century, or they are older but got a new meaning, when science knew about isotopes.
Who decides, which character to use / create, when there are new elements / isotopes / science-thingies discovered?


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Interesting question, this answer seems to be the closest thing I could find. Appears to basically suggest that one of the authors of the early Chinese textbooks on this topic appears to have popularised the characters through their use in said textbook, but seems likely that they were following some govt. recommendation. Sure there must be more info on this, there's a huge amount written about atomic energy mid-20th century, enough for an academic research paper I'd imagine...

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On 10/18/2023 at 6:56 PM, Tomsima said:

one of the authors of the early Chinese textbooks on this topic appears to have popularised the characters

Thank you @Tomsima !

The author really must have had fun inventing them.



I googled a bit and found this in wikipedia:


Nowadays for new Elements there are protocols and procedures to be followed

  1. a new element is discovered.
  2. an international organization, the IUPAC, gives it an appropriate name
  3. the "China National Committee for Terms in Sciences and Technologies" coins a Chinese name and a matching character
  4. the character gets inserted into the next release of Unicode

For example the element Tennesine

  • received its name "Tennesine" from IUPAC in 2016 
  • the China National Committee  for  Terms in Sciences and Technologies published its Chinese name and character, tián 鿬, in 2017
  • the Russian Academy of Sciences even held a naming ceremony in 2017
  • the character was inserted into Unicode (version 11.0) in June 2018 
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铁将军把门 tiě jiāngjūn bǎ mén  a locked door

Just now encountered this in a novel. Fortunately it was a person in the story remembering an event that was described earlier in the book or I would have been so confused. As it was, I almost overlooked the term as I already knew what was happening. I wonder if there is a story behind it, or if it's simply a flowery phrase.

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