VS vs. P14 (was Re: Indic Devanagari Query)

From: Andrew C. West (andrewcwest@alumni.princeton.edu)
Date: Thu Feb 06 2003 - 10:47:19 EST

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    James Kass wrote,

    > (What happens if someone discovers a 257th variant? Do they
    > get a prize? Or, would they be forever banished from polite
    > society?)

    I was thinking about that. 256 variants of a single character may seem a tad
    excessive, but there is a common Chinese decoartive motif (frequently seen on
    trays and tea-pots and scarves and such like) comprising the ideograph shou4
    (U+58FD, U+5900, U+5BFF) "longevity" written in 100 variant forms (called "bai3
    shou4 tu2" in Chinese). See
    http://www.tydao.com/sxsu/shenhuo/minju/images/mj17.htm for an example.

    A quick google on "qian1 shou4 tu2" (the ideograph "shou4" written in a thousand
    different forms) came up with a piece of calligraphy by Wang Yunzhuang (b.1942)
    which comprises the ideograph shou4 written in no less than 1,256 unique variant
    forms !

    Googling on "wan4 shou4 tu2" (the ideograph "shou4" written in 10,000 forms)
    also had a number of hits, but these refer to a compilation of calligraphy by
    forty artists that took 16 years to create (written on a scroll 160 metres in
    length), so these may not all be unique variants.

    There are also a number of other auspicious characters, such as fu2 (U+798F)
    "good fortune" that may be found written in a hundred variant forms as a
    decorative motif.

    All in all the new variant selectors may be kept quite busy if applied to the
    ideograph shou4 and its friends !


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