On Friday, May 10, 2002, at 06:29 PM, John Cowan wrote:
> What is this about Qing taboo characters? Can someone point me to an
> explanation (in English)? Thanks.
The whole idea of "taboo" forms stems from the fact that there are certain
ideographs one could not use because, typically, they're part of personal
name of someone important. So one deliberately distorts them when writing
Such a thing is very much time-bound. Using a character from the personal
name of the *current* emperor is a big deal, but using one from the
personal name of an emperor five hundred years dead from an entirely
different dynasty is no biggie. So the Qing dictionary, the KangXi, would
have some taboo forms which would later become untaboo (especially now, of
course, since nobody does that kind of thing anymore).
John H. Jenkins
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