Why do Taiwanese staple the wrong corner?

Perhaps it doesn’t merit a thread of its own, but is there some reason why Taiwanese staple the top right corner of a stack of pages instead of the top left corner, which is the customary practice and makes it easier to leaf through the document? The way they do it a staple is directly blocking the path that one wants to travel through the document.

Also, is there some reason why so many Taiwanese have trouble writing the number 9, not making a loop and then drawing the stem, but instead starting at the bottom, going up and making the loop, and often getting it backwards so the loop’s on the wrong side? I used to get confused by such backwards 9s, but now recognize them as cha bu duo Taiwan style.

Are either of the above attributable to their writing system or are they just two simple acts that a large number of Taiwanese have simply learned wrong?

When in Rome…

have you seen “taiwan binders/ folders”?

you have to punch the holes on the right side of the papers, and the binder itself flips up from top up to your right direction, not to your left…

same thing with local mags/ newspapers. cover page is on the back, per my regular way…

Many of the magazines and books here are read from the back, so to speak, or from right to left, rather. This means that you flip the page to the right and not to the left as you would in a magazine in the west. That only makes it natural to staple a stack of documents so they can read it the same way they are used to reading a magazine. In other words, it’s just a practical matter.

As for the numbers, they write them the same way in China. It used to drive me nuts when I lived there, but that’s apparently just they way they’re taught. They have simply learned to write it differently.

Why do they drive on the wrong side of the road? It’s just a disgrace. :noway:

The problem is when people staple documents on the top right corner when the documents are written in the Western left-to-right format!

I’m not sure if you were actually inviting a serious response with your question about the number 9, but that’s what you’re getting (like it or not).

It’s because of the way the Chinese write characters. Stroke order is more important than the finished look of the character, which is why when you see Chinese handwritten it looks so different to computer type. If you look at a Chinese person writing a nine, their hand will follow the same pattern as a westerner, but instead of going all the way around to make a nice rounded 9, they take the quickest route which ends up looking more like an inverted hangman’s noose. Since arabic numerals are essentially Chinese now (they have been adopted by monoglot speakers of the language), there’s no reason for the Chinese to treat them any differently to any other Chinese characters.

See, you did want to know, didn’t you? :wink:

[quote=“Chris”]
The problem is when people staple documents on the top right corner when the documents are written in the Western left-to-right format![/quote]

Try holding it in your right hand and flip through it using your left hand. You’ll notice that this is the same thing as reading a Chinese mag from right to left, making the pages flip to the right, and in the right order, regardless of whether you’re reading a European or a Taiwanese document :wink:

Must strongly disagree here. Stroke order / direction is flexible to a limited degree. If you don’t believe me, just start comparing ball-point pen calligraphy books and you’ll see different shortcuts and sometimes stroke orders. Or you can compare a mainland “stroke order books” to Taiwanese writing and see the difference. Or you can start where I did, by using dictionaries indexed according to total stroke count and first two strokes and see that sometimes (not often, but enough to be a pattern) different dictionaries will have different orders (not to mention stroke counts). Or…

But how the finished graph looks is extremely important – most people (excepting perhaps some Chinese teachers) would agree much more important than stroke order. Why else is there caoshu 草書?

The best explanation is that given by P. People simply learn to write differently. You see the same thing in Europe – what a German writes as a one looks much like a seven to me, and when written quickly a German seven (with that cross-bar) can look like my two.

[quote=“p”][quote=“Chris”]
The problem is when people staple documents on the top right corner when the documents are written in the Western left-to-right format![/quote]

Try holding it in your right hand and flip through it using your left hand. You’ll notice that this is the same thing as reading a Chinese mag from right to left, making the pages flip to the right, and in the right order, regardless of whether you’re reading a European or a Taiwanese document ;-)[/quote]

Almost, but not quite. Yes one can flip through the pages that way, but with English text I maintain that it’s more logical to staple on the left and flip through as we do with an English language mag, because English text runs left to right, ones eyes scan left to right, so it feels counterintuitive to flip forward to subsequent pages on the left side rather than the right. Just a minor issue, but if one wants things done right. . .

Can we go back to the number 9 thing. I have to bitch. (Flounder me)

I tried to buy dumplings the other day (almost a year ago) and wrote an english 6. She gave me ten. And then argues with me about the 6 being a to. A very clearly written 6. How is that a ten? How? TELL ME HOW???

You may now go back to your stapeling.

Ten is this: +
I’ve seen many people write this in one stroke: start at the top, do the vertical line then swing round to the right and do the horizontal line (right to left) … end result something looking vaguely like a 6 (only vaguely though)

Most people would write the chinese character for 6: 六

[quote=“Mother Theresa”][quote=“p”][quote=“Chris”]
The problem is when people staple documents on the top right corner when the documents are written in the Western left-to-right format![/quote]

Try holding it in your right hand and flip through it using your left hand. You’ll notice that this is the same thing as reading a Chinese mag from right to left, making the pages flip to the right, and in the right order, regardless of whether you’re reading a European or a Taiwanese document ;-)[/quote]

Almost, but not quite. Yes one can flip through the pages that way, but with English text I maintain that it’s more logical to staple on the left and flip through as we do with an English language mag, because English text runs left to right, ones eyes scan left to right, so it feels counterintuitive to flip forward to subsequent pages on the left side rather than the right. Just a minor issue, but if one wants things done right. . .[/quote]

…then you have to do it yourself…

[quote=“SuchAFob”]Can we go back to the number 9 thing. I have to bitch. (Flounder me)

I tried to buy dumplings the other day (almost a year ago) and wrote an English 6. She gave me ten. And then argues with me about the 6 being a to. A very clearly written 6. How is that a ten? How? TELL ME HOW???

You may now go back to your stapeling.[/quote]

Was that to a ten? Or was it a 10? Did you mean to type two? Or 2? Or was to really meant? Was the to to confuse? To confuse who? And why? Did you write to for 10, or ten for 6 as you say she said? Maybe you wrote the ten you say she read, confusing the 6 you said you meant. :loco:

They staple the page on the right because that’s how they’ve been told to do it. Had they been told to staple the pages in the exact centre where the diagonals bisect, that’s where it would be stapled.

They write the nine in a strange way because that’s they way they’ve been told to do it. When I was teaching Umurrikun Unglish to children I was gobsmacked to find how American children are taught to write a capital “Q”. I would simply be unable to decipher it.

Horses for courses I suppose.

I suppose so.

Here’s another one. How come they write addresses thusly:

245, Tun Hua N. Rd, Sec 2, Taipei

Isn’t it more proper without the comma after the 245? The street number should be linked to the road, not separated from it right? Do they write it that way in other developed nations? To me that’s akin to stapling the middle of the page.

What is the “right” way, anyways?
I think if somebody had given me a bunch of Mandarin right to left-style papers to staple together I might still have done it in the left corner. It’s just a habit, and I’m not sure I would have taken the time to think that I was not doing it the “right” way, even though I know most magazines and books here work that way.
Just goes to show…the “right” way is a relative concept.

Are you trolling or being judgmental? or are you a little homesick this time of the year? There’s no why or why not, except that it’s culture in the sense that a practice was created and passed on. Doesn’t every place and every people have their “oddities” or “uniqueness”? Personally, even if it’s a English language document, I don’t find that stapling on the right side makes reading/handling any different.

You’re so wise, Jack Burton. Took the words out of my mouth.

Is the top left corner the universal place to staple a stack of papers? And somewhere in the USA in a forum for Taiwanese, Kawaii888 posts in the “Living in the USA” forum: Why do Americans staple the wrong corner?

[quote=“914”]You’re so wise, Jack Burton. Took the words out of my mouth.

Is the top left corner the universal place to staple a stack of papers? And somewhere in the USA in a forum for Taiwanese, Kawaii888 posts in the “Living in the USA” forum: Why do Americans staple the wrong corner?[/quote]

It comes from years of eating your boogers. Little specks of wisdom in every one of those jolly nuggets.