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What you say of “拼经济”?


monto

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Just a few days ago when was watching one of CCTVs (I forgot the channel number), a grogram on Taiwan affairs, the political matter being a horse of another color, I was quite amused by a term linguistically.

That is “拼经济”(拚經済)。

As far as I know of Han Language Putonghua, 拼 has two basic meanings, one is “to put together” or something like that, which is nothing to do with “拼经济”. The other related to it is “to use as tool, means or stake, or to risk, ready to sacrifice it”. For the second meaning, we have:

拼刺刀:to use bayonets in battle --- which were often the case in Anti-Jap war; 拼力气: to struggle or fight relying on the physical strength; and 拼命: to do something risking one’s life.

After you拼刺刀,you may have the bayonets bent or broken; and拼力气, you may 筋疲力尽; and after拼命,you loose your life. But these are what you have considered of beforehand and ready to pay as price.

Then, what do you think when you read or hear someone say “拼经济”.

I don’t know how this term is interpreted in Han language Taiwan Guoyu (officially standard language in Taiwan), just feel funny.

Welcome any comments, opinions, questions or even crits. But limited to the linguistic ones.

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I think it is hard to understand if the word stands-alone, like I did not understand it when I first saw it in your thread title. However, if in the sentence or an article, it is more easily to be understood. It means the two regions compete with each other economically, kind of like 拼刺刀.

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and 拼命: to do something risking one’s life.

Yes, so you might understand that “拼命” has an extensive meaning引申义 “spare no effort不遗余力”, right? “拼” means “work very hard”, while “命” is a complement补语 to describe how hard it is.

Then, what do you think when you read or hear someone say “拼经济”.
中国台湾网12月26日消息 据台湾“中央社”报道,中国国民党2008参选人马英九晚上参加嘉义市餐饮公会会馆落成启用联谊餐会,他期许明年当选后,为台湾拼经济,保证没有工作的民众都有工作。

http://cache.baidu.com/c?m=9f65cb4a8c8507ed4fece763104a8023584380147d8c8c4668d4e419ce3b4c413037bfa6763f1006d1c06b6777ac494bea8636762a0323b799cb8949dbb0912a2cc93034075ddc074d8d0dea960673ce37e12bfedc13f0cb8625e4a9c5d3ae4322ce44757c97f1fb4d7063dd1c86034192b1e849&p=aa49c137c8934ea946be9b7f0d44&user=baidu

As for the texts above, “为台湾拼经济” means spare no effort (or work very hard )to develop Taiwan’s economy.

Cheers!

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This probably has to do with the line '爱拼才会赢', which means 'struggle to succeed', and is commonly known among Hokkien both in China and Taiwan. A song titled this line is sung in Hokkien, and was a sensation back in the '80s and '90s. I would say 拼 is a fairly local word, and saying 拼经济 in Taiwanese is in correspondence with his localisation propaganda.

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This probably has to do with the line '爱拼才会赢', which

I don't think it relates to '爱拼才会赢' because first, I can reply, "不见得,看你拼什么了" ( You can't tell, it depends on what you '拼' with); secondly, the '爱拼才会赢' avoided the question "拼什么?" which is key to the topic.

I mean that "拼经济" is not a proper expression either logically or grammatically, though what is meant by the term is understood. But being understood is by no means it's right!

Never use such expression in anything you write or speak, especially when you are doing home work for your language class if you don't want your scores deducted.

If "拼经济" would be proper, then we could have a lot of rubish terms:

拼数学, 拼物理, 拼语文........and so on.

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Then what about 拼了 used on its own? If I'm playing tennis with someone and say 我跟你拼了, it's not clear exactly what I would give up in order to win the match (life, bodily fluids, a new racket?), but it's clear that I'm pitting my playing skills against someone else. Would you ever consider changing the dictionary? :mrgreen:

BTW, here's 拼网球:

http://sports.anhuinews.com/system/2006/03/30/001456987.shtml

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I don't think it relates to '爱拼才会赢' because first, I can reply, "不见得,看你拼什么了" ( You can't tell, it depends on what you '拼' with); secondly, the '爱拼才会赢' avoided the question "拼什么?" which is key to the topic.

I mean that "拼经济" is not a proper expression either logically or grammatically, though what is meant by the term is understood. But being understood is by no means it's right!

Never use such expression in anything you write or speak, especially when you are doing home work for your language class if you don't want your scores deducted.

If "拼经济" would be proper, then we could have a lot of rubish terms:

拼数学, 拼物理, 拼语文........and so on.

You're right. We shouldn't use any rubish term. That said, the use of '拼' originates from the Hokkien language, and generally speaking, Hokkien culture as a whole, if not limited to Taiwanese culture. It went down in history when Taiwan achieved great success in economy in the last century, which is praised as 'Taiwan Miracle', and said to be attributed to the Taiwan spirit, to which '爱拼才会赢' is a core. As I understand, Hokkien in China identify with this notion of '拼', and claim it generates hardworkingness which is valued in this ethnic group. More importantly, just because you, as a Mandarin speaker I assume, think it's bad grammar, it doesn't mean it is to a Taiwanese/Hokkien speaker. Chen speaks Taiwanese rather than Mandarin. And Ma too uses '拼' to identify himself with the native-born Hokkien. Hokkien speak Hokkien version of Mandarin. What are you expecting? In addition, it's simply a variant of Mandarin for 老天爷's sake. I can't see what you're being critical for.

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To clarify myself, I do see where you're coming from. Nevertheless, I can't agree with your comment especially when you don't look into the culture and history behind '拼经济', which means it cannot be simply understood in a linguistical perspective. Arguing it's improper grammar is the same as arguing 'long time no see' is incorrectly constructed, which is said to derive from Pidgin English. Then again, '拼经济' is absolutely correct in standard Taiwanese Mandarin, which is, needless to say, legitimate Mandarin. I think there is nothing more I should add on its origin. If you have to discuss this purely linguistically, I believe we can never come to an agreement. And of course, no offence intended.

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