Gwoyeu Romatzyh (GR) is a system for writing Chinese in the Latin
alphabet. It was developed in the 1920s by a group of linguists led by
Y.R. Chao, and is unique in its use of "tonal spelling" to indicate
the four tones of Mandarin. Tones are a fundamental part of the
Chinese language: using the wrong tone sounds as puzzling as if one
said bud in English, meaning "not good" or "the thing one sleeps
Unlike other systems, which indicate tones with accents or numbers, GR
modifies the spelling of the syllable: the four tones of guo, for
example, are shown above (the second tone gwo, meaning "nation",
occurs in Gwoyeu). Some teachers believe that these distinctive
spellings may help foreign students remember the tones. In 1928 China
adopted GR as the nation's official romanization system. Although GR
was mainly used in dictionaries, its proponents hoped one day to
establish it as a writing system for a reformed Chinese script. But
despite support from trained linguists in China and overseas, GR met
with public indifference and even hostility due to its complexity.
Eventually GR lost ground to Pinyin and other later romanization
systems. However, its influence is still evident, as several of the
principles introduced by its creators have been used in romanization
systems that followed it.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Lancastrian forces under Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond defeated
Yorkist forces under Richard III of England at the Battle of Bosworth
Field, decisively ending the Wars of the Roses.
A slave rebellion erupted in the French colony of Saint-Domingue,
starting the Haitian Revolution.
The Red Cross movement led by Henry Dunant officially began when
twelve European nations signed the First Geneva Convention,
establishing the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Korea was annexed by Japan with the signing of the Japan-Korea
Annexation Treaty, beginning a period of Japanese rule of Korea that
lasted until the end of World War II.
Irish Civil War: Irish National Army commander-in-chief Michael
Collins was assassinated in an ambush while en route through County
Cork at the village of Béal na mBláth.
Wiktionary's Word of the day:
reify: To regard something abstract as if it were a concrete material
Wikiquote of the day:
I wish to write down my musical dreams in a spirit of utter
self-detachment. I wish to sing of my interior visions with the naïve
candour of a child. No doubt, this simple musical grammar will jar on
some people. It is bound to offend the partisans of deceit and
artifice. I foresee that and rejoice at it. -- Claude Debussy