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Then, in , with the introduction of Pinyin , a small "Xin Sijiaohaoma Cidian" was produced by the Beijing Commercial Press, but the rapid Han character simplification of the following years made the small 30, compound book obsolete in China.
Overseas and in Hong Kong, it remained popular for a number of years as a high speed key to phonetic dictionaries and indexes.
It was used by those partly literate in Chinese or—in some areas—unfamiliar with Standard Chinese , especially Hanyu Pinyin. In Taiwan, "Zonghe Cidian" remains in print with an auxiliary section of rare characters. The telecode number, radical and stroke counts are shown for each character in a convenient size, but a phonetic index is still lacking.
Also, it's all in traditional Chinese characters , and it contains a lot of obsolete information.
Still, it is convenient for reading old Republic -period materials and literature, and as a handy finder for pronunciations. Another medium-sized dictionary, the Xinhua Zidian , appeared with this index as well, but in the late s the four-corner index disappeared from newer editions. Both works now use only the Pinyin main entry and multi-door radical index systems that make it possible to look up a character with perhaps a wrong radical i.
The use of stroke counting and radicals puts memorization of the character ahead of sheer speed in handling it. This method is more supportive of mass literacy than classical scholarship or processing and filing names or characters for the majority in China today.
The four-corner method is ultimately for readers, researchers, editors and fileclerks, not for writers who seek a character that they know in speech or recitation. In China today, a new version of the excellent small "Xin Sijiaohaoma Cidian", soft cover from Commercial Press, Beijing, has been available since the late s, updated in several new editions and printings.
It uses the Third Revision and enjoys some popularity. Current usage[ edit ] The main purpose of the original four-corner system today is in doing academic research or handling large numbers of characters, terms, index cards, or names. But are there too many beautiful women around him? And why do none of them really exist as characters, rather than stock figures for him to flirt or sleep with? And why is he always cooking?
Even while he captures the ferocity of the moment, Palermo, as a city, doesn't ever come alive. The title is borrowed from the name of Palermo's most famous square and though di Piazza also takes care to mention its most famous gelato stand, the city with all its rich history still seems flat in his hands.
But these are small quibbles in this morality play, where the lines blur between wrong and right, good and evil, where even ordinary people are capable of crimes — sometimes unknowingly. The book is a fluid, quick read, even if the episodic nature doesn't really allow di Piazza enough time for deep character development.
The workings of the police, their dealings with reporters all seem honest and true, as does daily life at the small newspaper di Piazza himself was a reporter in Sicily in the early 80s. As di Piazza's main character says, "deep in every Sicilian heart, there is icy madness. He does an even more admirable job bringing the reporter to life, his inner workings and his confusion. He is capable of moments of sanity, moments of love and moments of cruelty; every day he has to cope with the horror of what is passing in front of him.
I searched, I found, and I wrote.
But I understood nothing. His escape is the pursuit of a series of women, each more exotic than the next: from Sicily, from Milan, in Northern Italy, from France. But are there too many beautiful women around him? And why do none of them really exist as characters, rather than stock figures for him to flirt or sleep with?