What is the difference between 矮 and 短. Both seem to mean "short," so how can they be differentiated?
矮 short (as opposed to 高 tall) vertically short
For example, a person, a building, a wall can be 高 or 矮.
短 short (as opposed to 長 long) horizontally short
For example, a street, a piece of string can be 長 or 短.
You may wonder, what about things like pants? When they are on someone's body, they are vertical. With articles of clothing, it's always 長 or 短, because the orientation is dependent on the person wearing them. On their own, the pants cannot stay "vertical" and therefore are not considered "vertical" objects.
長 or 短 is also used for abstract things, for instance, a long day, a short engagement, a short wait ... etc.
Are there exceptions? I can't think of any right now, but others may like to chime in. Hope this helps.