The little Japanese "no" character


#1

Those of you who get sore about the simplified form of “Taiwan” de “tai”, and simplified characters in general, must be up in arms about the little Japanese “no” that’s used in place of “de” a lot these days. It’s that symbol that looks like a backwards and sideways letter “e”.

As a matter of fact, though, that one has come full-circle. The Japanese phonetic character is the grass style of a chinese character, read “nai” in modern Mandarin, that doesn’t have any meaning nowadays, but used to mean “of” in old Chinese.

Of course, the average Taiwanese probably has never stopped to think about that – to him or her, it’s just a lot quicker to write, and it’s cool and fashionable cos it’s Japanese.


#2

True, the Japanese character no is derived from nai, but in mainland China the same sign is used in handwriting as a quick way of writing si (four.)


#3

Not me, I can’t stand “de”. “no” is much better. But as I base on my opinions based on how pretty the girls are from the country under discussion, my opinion is clearly worthless on this matter.


#4

Have you ever notice that people also sometimes write the English “or” instead of the Chinese “huozhe” or “huo”?