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Old 08-28-2008, 11:19 PM   #1
newtimer
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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.)
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Old 08-29-2008, 01:03 AM   #2
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hmmm
do they celebrate 4th birthdays?
(my daughter will be 4 next week - thank god we do not live in China or Taiwan)
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Old 08-29-2008, 03:28 AM   #3
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My building has a 4th floor... but my one in Hong Kong didn't have a 4th OR a 13th.
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Old 08-29-2008, 05:05 AM   #4
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I bet there is a fourth floor. You hold the nine hit the minus sign and the 5.
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Old 08-29-2008, 07:25 AM   #5
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They should color code them instead. Or maybe give them mascot names. "I live on Panda floor, how about you?"
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Old 08-29-2008, 08:27 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 08-29-2008, 08:52 AM   #7
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The 4th floor is where all the John Malkoviches are.
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Old 08-29-2008, 09:12 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 08-31-2008, 01:24 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 08-31-2008, 07:49 PM   #10
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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?
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:22 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:41 AM   #12
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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
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Old 09-03-2008, 11:10 AM   #13
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Old 09-03-2008, 12:49 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 09-03-2008, 02:38 PM   #15
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