when I make stories I replace 攵 with the Hard Gay from gaki no tsukai you guys should sooo try doing this I've found it to be super effective
Actually, if you look up the actual, historical etymology of this element, you'll find that it's evolved from a picture of (someone's) hand (beating someone/something) with a stick. The first stroke is the stick, and the remaining three strokes outline the clenched fist (the triangular part above) and the arm going downward (the open part on the bottom).
Anyway, I've always thought of it as 'beat with a stick' (and by association, if necessary, any similar form of violent action) even after starting Heisig, and that's always worked for me.
I mean, I don't know about you, but I find "beat with a stick" pretty visual.
I dunno, I have been surprised at how well I did with my choice for the taskmaster. I'm struggling as best I can to get through Lesson 27, all about people, and I followed heisig's advice pretty well, picked someone with special meaning to me, and did my best to incorporate them. My stories for lesson 27 just arent working, I'm at about 70% success rate every day and it's slooow going. I remember the good ol days of the taskmaster primitive, when I was above 90% success every day. I chose this image of a marvel comic villian/hero, called the taskmaster (conveniently), where he is posed just like the radical, or so it seems to me. He's got a sword instead of a stick though, sorry. http://i42.tinypic.com/29bn59l.jpg I never read a comic with this guy in it, but maybe that's why it works. I can see this memorable image in all sorts of goofy and extreme situations, and so the imaginary character is built around the kanji I am learning, not his comic book exploits. Then in Lesson 27, the friend I chose for the person there on the left, perhaps I know too well, and can't imagine what this keyword could possibly have to do with him. Am I doing it wrong?
From: Minnesota USA Registered: 2008-01-26 Posts: 62
Then in Lesson 27, the friend I chose for the person there on the left, perhaps I know too well, and can't imagine what this keyword could possibly have to do with him. Am I doing it wrong?
I think you were right when you talked about how the vividness of the Taskmaster comic character helped you in writing stories even though you couldn't remember the comics themselves. I used fictional characters for most of the primitives involving people for just that reason--they have "larger than life" personalities that were easier to work with. For "person," I had Mr. T doing all sorts of crazy things in stories. It didn't even matter that I don't remember anything about the "A Team" TV show because Mr. T's look and character are really memorable to me. I tried using a family member in a few cases and couldn't remember the stories so well--I guess he isn't so outlandish in real life so my stories of him didn't leave much of an impression. Is it too late to change your stories for person (although 70% doesn't seem so bad to me)?
Well, I did just get into Lesson 28, and I want to go as fast as I can, so I don't see myself finding an eraser and flipping back 80 kanji to rethink all those stories. This is the first time I've had a problem with such a wide swath of kanji, all because of one element that isn't popping the keyword up into the kanji. (Picture 1000 delicious flavors of muffins baking, but the 80 closest to you arent rising and you wont ever buy them from the cute bakery maid because she used salt instead of baking powder ... too much?) I guess I could replace all the people elements with someone more vibrant on an as-I-fail-them basis. Seems like having another person to spark the kanji memory from the keyword couldn't hurt. Could it? I've got the 立 as both standing and vase, and 大 as both big and a doitsu sheperd, and that's only helped. I think taskmaster might be a special case where one base image is mutable enough for almost all the kanji it's involved in, or I got lucky with a base image that works well for me. Anyway, I had the same "It's super effective!!" feeling that Machine_Gun_Cat had with taskmaster, and the absolute opposite with person, I guess.
I used a she-male with a long whip, kinda a cross between a dominatrix (as duckfan mentioned) and a ringmaster at a circus. Anything bizarre should work though, and generally an image you crafted yourself will work better for you, than someone else's image (all other things being equal), which is part of the reason why Heisig didn't write stories for all the kanji.
I use Severus Snape, the potion master from Harry Potter. I imagine the first stroke as his magic wand. It made the kanji of the lesson where the primitive is introduced a breeze to learn for me.
- 敗 (failure) : I imagine a potion exam and Snape turning students who fail to do the assigned potion right into shellfishes. - 牧 (breed) : much as the brother of Dumbledore was rumored to like goats a bit too much, I picture a sexually deprived Snape being surprised breeding with a cow by the students (how satisfying). - 攻 (aggression) : some of the students trading their magic wands for I-beams to give Snape a good beating (again, satisfying). - 枚 (sheet of) : Snape standing near a tree and hitting it with his magic wand, the tree turning into sheets of paper from its base to the top, all of the sheets landing one by one in his hands in a neat pile.
I've been using the keyword cowboy, which seemed to me quite natural based on the character 牧 (breed). Furthermore, it conjures up a rich and vivid background so that it helped me to create memorable stories.
I use Hitler as my primitive, too. Really does make it easier to make a story stick when I can clearly envision its central character, as opposed to a "taskmaster", which just conjures up a vague image of a man with a whip in my head.