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   newtimer  Friday Aug 29 12:19 AM

August 28, 2008: Elevator in Taiwan



The Chinese word for '4' sounds like the word for 'die'. Thus, it's unlucky.
Now you know why the elevators are numbered the way they are. Not only is there no 4th floor, there's not even a spot for the #4 button to go. It doesn't exist.

(I apologize for the quality of this photo.)



rupip  Friday Aug 29 02:03 AM

hmmm
do they celebrate 4th birthdays?
(my daughter will be 4 next week - thank god we do not live in China or Taiwan)



Ibby  Friday Aug 29 04:28 AM

My building has a 4th floor... but my one in Hong Kong didn't have a 4th OR a 13th.



SPUCK  Friday Aug 29 06:05 AM

I bet there is a fourth floor. You hold the nine hit the minus sign and the 5.



glatt  Friday Aug 29 08:25 AM

They should color code them instead. Or maybe give them mascot names. "I live on Panda floor, how about you?"



sweetwater  Friday Aug 29 09:27 AM

I think I would be tempted to glue a 4th floor button on the empty spot but wire it so that whenever it was pressed it would deliver a mild shock. Love the idea of Panda floor. I'd live on Dollar Store floor.



Flint  Friday Aug 29 09:52 AM

The 4th floor is where all the John Malkoviches are.



TheMercenary  Friday Aug 29 10:12 AM

From what I understand there is no 13th floor in their buildings either. At least there were none in Hong Kong when I was there in 1987.



newtimer  Sunday Aug 31 02:24 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flint View Post
The 4th floor is where all the John Malkoviches are.
The 4th floor is the ghetto where all of us foreigners lived. Rent is cheaper on the 4th floor.


ZenGum  Sunday Aug 31 08:49 PM

In Japan I noticed that too - there seemed to be a slightly higher concentration of foreigners on the 4th and 9th floors. 4 sounds like death, 9 sounds like suffering, so there is slightly less desire for these floors from Japanese people.

I have to wonder about architects bowing to superstition like this though. You reckon they put a rabbits foot in the foundations somewhere, to help keep the building from collapsing?



BigV  Wednesday Sep 3 10:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenGum View Post
In Japan I noticed that too - there seemed to be a slightly higher concentration of foreigners on the 4th and 9th floors. 4 sounds like death, 9 sounds like suffering, so there is slightly less desire for these floors from Japanese people.

I have to wonder about architects bowing to superstition like this though. You reckon they put a rabbits foot in the foundations somewhere, to help keep the building from collapsing?
"sounds like" "looks like"

Question for ZenGum, Ibram, etc. What can you tell me about the concept of rhymes in the Asian cultures?

I don't think one culture is more or less superstitious than the other. I know for certain we have an abundance of ridiculous beliefs here based on... what? nothing. But I'm thinking about the ordinal names of the floors, first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, etc etc. I can think of pleasant and unpleasant rhymes for those words but I don't see a change in popularity as a result.

first worst
second ...hm... blank
third turd
fourth worth
fifth myth

one hun nun
two spew poo screw
three pee
four whore
five dive
six dicks

So, anyway, what can you tell me about rhymes? What about a visual similarity between symbols? Does that carry a similar weight?

Thanks in advance.


footfootfoot  Wednesday Sep 3 10:41 AM

I think they are referring to homonyms and not rhymes, but I may be wrong.
one won
pear pair
two too to
three or in brooklyn tree
four death



Sundae  Wednesday Sep 3 12:10 PM




Clodfobble  Wednesday Sep 3 01:49 PM

I've also been told that since Chinese is a tonal language, you can't play with meaning through inflection--like saying something sarcastically isn't possible because you would literally be saying different words. So instead, the Chinese language uses puns a lot more seriously than we would in order to express meaning.



Shawnee123  Wednesday Sep 3 03:38 PM

Bite the Wax Tadpole



ZenGum  Wednesday Sep 3 09:06 PM

What can I tell you about rhyme in Japanese culture?

Pause


SFA, I'm afraid.

Well, a bit. Japanese is not tonal (well it is a tiny bit but not like Chinese or Thai) and the vowel sounds are constant, so rhyme is easy to achieve, but I never encountered much use of it that I recognised. But I really can not speak or understand Japanese.

However, the SHAPES of the characters are significant. The character for eight looks a bit like

Quote:
/ \
which is for some reason much liked - getting bigger, growing, prospering. Thus eight is a lucky number. The Nagoya soccer team is called the Grampus Eight which confused the hell out of me for a while, since there are 11 players. And the Chinese were delighted to start their Olympics on 08/08/08.


footfootfoot  Wednesday Sep 3 09:57 PM

08/08/08/08= bigger, better, faster, more



BigV  Thursday Sep 4 10:02 AM

Small Format Art?



ZenGum  Friday Sep 5 02:39 AM

Sweet F$%# All



Ibby  Friday Sep 5 06:34 AM

Generally it's not an issue, but when it comes to superstition, good and bad luck... its all about what it sounds like. like, around new years, eat pineapple cuz the taiwanese word for pineapple sounds like the mandarin word for some sort of prosperity.
that kinda thing.



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