erik lundegaard

Muscle Memory

Still practicing my Chinese—slowly but way not-so-surely—and was working on gei or “to give.” Wo gei ni kahn, etc. This is that character:

Oddly, though, every time I'd begin, rather than a straight line under the radical, the part on the left, I'd add three vertical dashes. I did that like three or four times, again and again, chastising myself all the while. “Where did that come from?” I wondered. 

It came from the past. It came from muscle memory. Because that's how the traditional character, which I learned 30 years ago, is written:

I do think China screwed up a lot of characters when they simplified. For example: This is ur, or “son,” first as traditional and then as simplified:

兒   vs.   儿

The traditonal always reminded me of a wobbly-headed kid on splindly legs. That's how I always remembered it. It looks like what it is, and it's kinda cute. Don't know what to make of the simplfied version. Just legs? Like spider legs? I'm getting nothing here.  

They also butchered dong, or “east”:

東   vs.   东

The first is a rising sun, which, you know, makes sense. The second is ... what ... the Fantastic Four signal? I‘ve got no clue. It’s lopsided, too. I hate writing that character. 

I know: Who am I to criticize. 我是什么东西?

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Posted at 01:43 PM on Thu. May 24, 2018 in category Personal Pieces  

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