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苹 - New Measuring Word for Animals

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Is this a new measuring word for animals?

I have come across:-




I normally use 只 for animals. Can someone please tell me if there is a change from 只 to 苹

Many thanks!


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That's what I thought when I first came across it...

But then, I have found more and more examples of it appearing on the prints....

You're right: languages evolve, and if you can find many examples by using Google. Whether it's considered correct or not is another problem ...

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I guess you were trying to say "瓶", this is an measuring word, but only for particular sauces or something that can drink. i.e. 一瓶醋。 一瓶果汁。

or maybe what you saw in print that's just a dialectal word.

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Never heard 一苹鱼 一苹蚊子 一苹猫

We say: 一条鱼 一只蚊子 一只猫

一条大鱼 一只小蚊子 一只肥猫

I don't quite understand why you claimed that is a measuring word.

I checked but this word isn't in my dictionary.

well, no clue. We only use it for 苹果. 

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Wow, what a mystery man!

Koneko, let's face it: All the Chinese speakers here agree with our dictionaries. 苹 is not a measure word at all. As xiaoxiajenny put it: "I don't quite understand why you claimed that is a measuring word. (...) We only use it for 苹果"

And yet...

A search using Google gives the following results:

一苹鱼 22 results

一苹猫 117 results

一苹蚊子 51 results

一苹狗 179 results

So, what's going on here? Surely Google is not an authority on language matters, but those high numbers would indicate that Koneko is right, that 苹 is being used as a measure word for animals. Google proves it.

Does it really?

Well, I have been investigating the matter, and I have found some interesting facts.

First, among all those pages that appear in the Google listings there are no .cn pages. They all seem to be .tw and .com pages from Taiwan or outside China.

But the curious thing is: All these Taiwanese pages are in simplified characters.

My theory is that this has to be the result of some buggy trad-simp conversion software that is erroneously mapping 隻 to 苹 instead of 只.

The following page in one of the Google listings seems to support my theory:

This page contains the lyrics of a song. Some parts of it are in traditional characters and show the title of the song with 一隻魚, but the main body of text is in simplified characters and that's where you will find the 一苹鱼.

This is what I think is going on here. I've also seen that the two characters 苹and 只 have a very similar binary representation in the GB coding scheme. The first one is C6BB whereas the second one is D6BB. That means that they only differ in one bit out of 16. I guess that may have led to a human error on the part of the programmers who developed the conversion tool used by those web sites.[/b]

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Woo hoo... That's an interesting "discovery"!

Well done, Jose! And I really appreciate your help. :D

I actually came across the "new" measuring word in Malaysian Chinese newspaper websites. They're all in simplified Chinese but they use traditional form as headings in printing.

Thanks again for your hard work, Jose!

Kind regards,


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