Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Amazing Chinese Characters (241) Side by Side - 並

The bronze script for character  is

two people stand side by side.

The small seal script for the character is

very similar to the big seal script

The clerical script for the character is

The two dots on the top, which are two heads, and the two vertical lines plus two dots on the sides in the middle of the character, which means two bodies. But the two shoulders, four feet tother, become horizontal lines. We can imagine that the two person stand very very close, because they are best friends.

Its Pinyin is Bing4.

I have to point out that the 並 - side by side, is not used in simplified Chinese any more. There is another character 并 (Abreast, Post 115), originally, it means that two people move with the same steps.

Let's review the character briefly.

The shell bone script for character Abreast is

The one horizontal line indicates that two people or animals keep in step with each other.

Its big seal script is

The two short horizontal lines emphasize the same pace.

Its small seal script is

the lines are not continuous but the meaning is the same.

Its clerical script is

In 1950s, Chinese Simplification Group decided that the two characters 並,并 combined into one character 并, which has both meanings of the two. 並 is removed from simplified characters. But traditional Chinese still keeps both.

Simplification of Characters is not only done by reducing the strokes of some characters, but combineing two characters into one, which is not many, 并/並 is one of them.

However, this kind simplification not only cut off the connection of character's evolution history but causes some confusions.

並 is still used in traditional Chinese.

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