Re: Digits in character names (was: Re: character names (question

From: John Jenkins (
Date: Fri Apr 07 2000 - 11:28:44 EDT

on 4/7/00 2:29 AM, at wrote:

> Similarly, it would perhaps have been wiser to use numbers 1 ... 214 for the
> Kangxi radicals: many people knows these numbers by heart (especially the
> commonest radicals). On the other hand, the descriptions that have been used
> in the English character names are highly subjective choices.

Well, I think that one could argue either way. I know several radicals by
heart -- 61, 85, 86, 120, 140, 167, a few others. But I also know all these
by name -- heart, water, fire, silk, grass, gold/metal -- and there are
several I know by name but not by number -- pig's snout, horse, bird,

I grant that some of the names are obscure. We tried to correlate several
common lists of names to come up with something reasonable. And for some of
the more obscure radical it doesn't matter much since few people know them
off-hand anyway.

(And, BTW, I'm not aware of the IRG ever having objected to giving them

John H. Jenkins

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