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Thursday, June 18, 2009

These days one the hottest words in Taiwan is 夯. I can't quite decide whether I like the word or not, but I do find myself using it from time to time. The character 夯 is being used to represent "hot" because the pronunciation of the character in mandarin is the same as the Taiwanese pronunciation of the character 烘. My problem is the character 夯 does not mean hot but has multiple meanings that all deal with construction; this is quite obvious from the elements in the character: 大 (big) and 力 (force). According to a dictionary by 丁德先, Maria's grandfather, 夯 can also be a replacement for the character 笨, meaning stupid. So hot and stupid are now the same and I suppose that might actually be true some of the times.

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