From Round to Square (and back)

For The Emperor's Teacher, scroll down (↓) to "Topics." It's the management book that will rock the world (and break the vase, as you will see). Click or paste the following link for a recent profile of the project:

A new post appears every day at 12:05* (CDT). There's more, though. Take a look at the right-hand side of the page for over four years of material (2,000 posts and growing) from Seinfeld and country music to every single day of the Chinese lunar calendar...translated. Look here ↓ and explore a little. It will take you all the way down the page...from round to square (and back again).
*Occasionally I will leave a long post up for thirty-six hours, and post a shorter entry at noon the next day.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Kanji Mastery—Radical 77 (Stop)

[a] Unterwegs to Paradise RF
Knock it off, I hear this character cry softly, even when embedded (in its "radical" form) in other characters. Stop. Cease. Desist. Halt. Take a break, even if you are on the road to Paradise...or Longmire. Just stop. The character and its various combinations cover large swaths of the conceptual territory around stops—quick, glottal, or otherwise. It even encompasses a little bit of stooping.

On top of it all, it is the radical (止 + 一 = 正) in one of the most versatile characters in the Sino-Japanese lexicon. It can mean everything from "original" to "correct," and "genuine" to "moral." It is also (not the radical, but 正) a way of counting to five that is as handy as it is culturally specific. IIII followed by a slash is only one way of counting to five, and all you have to do is spend a little time at a dimsum restaurant in any city in the world to see how a big table with fifteen dishes would be computed before readying the bill for you:

Yup, five plus five plus five. My software won't allow me to show you partial characters (there remains a place for handwriting, I guess), but your server would get to sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, or nineteen dishes simply by following proper stroke order.

[b] Count enhance RF
And the center of it all is stop. This handy little character is less important for its volume (it appears in only a half dozen or so of the "regular use characters" (常用漢字). Its interpretive uses extend far beyond that little cluster of characters, though. Learn to recognize it and use its many verbal outgrowths. Not every kanji has a string of readings (see the dictionary material below) as long as a court official's sleeve.

And finally, think "Foot." The character is really all about feet. Check it out on the etymological link below.

Radical 77
Chinese (Mandarin): zhi3
Chinese (Cantonese): zi2
Japanese (On reading): シ SHI
Japanese (Kun readings):とまる tomaru; とめる tomeru; やめる yameru; ただ tada; とどまる todomaru; とどめる todomeru
Korean: 지 ji

Selections from The New Nelson Japanese-English Character Dictionary.
[c] とまれ RF
Radical 77
Tomeru to stop. At left: tome hen. Nickname: Stopping.
SHI. to(maru) stop, halt, be interrupted, be discontinued; be choked; alight on, perch, roost; be held in position.  
to(meru) stop; check; allay (pain); fasten; turn off; detain; forbid to do; dissuade.  
todo(maru) stop, halt, stay, remain, stay behind; be limited to.  
todo(meru) stop, cease, detain, put an end to; leave; fix; remain (in a certain condition); content oneself with.  
ya(mu) end, stop, cease; subside, calm down, pass; die out, be extinguished; leave, go off; be abandoned.  
ya(meru) end, discontinue; give up, abandon; abolish; resign, retire.  
yo(su) stop, discontinue, give up.  
sa(su) stop; leave something unfinished.
to(me) stopping; prohibition, end; a stop.
to(mare) halt, stop.  
ya(mi), ya(me) end, discontinuance, stop.  
yoshi stop, discontinue. todo(me) finishing blow. 
to(mari) stop, stoppage; end, termination.  
sa(shi) stopping.

止木 と(まり)ぎ     to(mari)gi     roost, perch                             (stop + tree)
止水 しすい           shisui           still water                                 (stop + water)
止血 しけつ           shiketsu       stopping bleeding                    (stop + blood)
止息 しそく           shisoku        stop to rest                              (stop + rest)
止宿 ししゅく       shishuku      lodging                                     (stop + lodging)

As always in these posts, we have begun with easy-to-understand combinations. Stop and tree combine to create a "perch" (and I don't mean a small freshwater fish). Sometimes language and seemingly "predictable," at least in retrospect. As readers have seen in previous Kanji Mastery posts, though, it is not always easy, and it does not take long before a versatile character such as "stop" begins to take on wider ranges of meeting. Take a look at these combinations to get an idea of other ways this character is used.

止手 と(め)て        to(me)te        peacemaker (in a quarrel)      (stop + hand)
止立 と(め)だ(て)  to(me)da(te)  check, stop, dissuade            (stop + stand)
止間  や(み)ま       ya(mi)ma       lull (in a storm)                       (stop + in-between)

And then there are further extensions of meaning. The combinations begin to extend further and life. That is why the study of language is always the study of language and culture.

止結 と(め)むす(び)    to(me)musu(bi)    overhand knot             (stop + knot)
止難 や(み)がたい      ya(mi)gatai           compelling                   (stop + difficult)

Let's wrap things up with a number of characters in which 止 is "radical." You will see it appearing usually at the top, bottom, and left side (pronounced tome hen) of characters...but not on the right. 

 セイ, サイ                          SEI, SAI                             year, age; time; occasion
 れき                                   reki                                     history; continuation
 ワイ, エ; ひ(ず), ゆが(む)  WAI, E; hi(zu), yuga(mu)   crooked, bent, slanted
[d] Prohibited (~止)! RF

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