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I was listening to 曾经的那个人 by 梦然. You can check out the song here.

https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E6%9B%BE%E7%BB%8F%E7%9A%84%E9%82%A3%E4%B8%AA%E4%BA%BA/21270421

Or here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Y7H8vfxEUA4fg0udSmUXZJzryXM_l5s-/view?usp=sharing https://www.kugeci.com/song/6i1jMQWM

In the lyrics, you can find the line that goes: 脑海中一直有一笑脸

Edit: Please skip to 00:00:58 for this exact line.

Although the lyrics says 一张笑脸, the singer says 一道笑脸.

Did I spot it correctly or is it some sort of contextual sound change cause I never heard 道 could be used as a measure word for things like 笑脸 (smiling face).


Edit: I found a ton of Chinese novels where 一道笑脸 is actually used: Are all of these just mistakes?

https://www.dizishu.com/b/2682/7975833.html

这是一张怎样的笑脸,几乎就是带着冰冷死亡还有恐惧···这一道笑脸几乎是可以令所有的人,感觉到死亡的窒息!即便是中年的面色,也都刷的一下剧烈变化!

https://www.biquyue.com/book_38294/26564.html

方莫吞了口唾沫下去,望着面前这些人,脸上尴尬而又得体地露出了一道笑脸:“各位好啊?”

http://www.biquge5200.net/47_47238/18117207.html

伊莉雅勉强露出了一道笑脸:“谢谢你,对了,我还不知道你的名字。”

https://m.sz-tman.com/du/84219/19855417.html

下一刻眼前就已经是出现了一道冷冷的笑脸,随着这一道笑脸刚刚出现的同时,就令他心中一沉!

https://www.booktxt.net/7_7451/49436751.html

顾景迁还企图隐瞒,努力扬起一道笑脸,解释道:“没事,我只是有些累了,沐恩,现在还没有辰修的消息,一有消息我一定会……”

http://m.xiaoshuopu.com/xiaoshuo/62/62534/28885872.html

当莫天能主动放过一些生灵的时候,其嘴角终于是露出一道笑脸

For more examples, you can check this link: https://www.google.com/search?q=%22%E4%B8%80%E9%81%93%E7%AC%91%E8%84%B8%22&newwindow=1&client=firefox-b-d&ei=vLc3YZ-0C-ug5NoPrOeHkAE&start=20&sa=N&ved=2ahUKEwifgs36xu3yAhVrEFkFHazzARI4ChDy0wN6BAgBEDU&biw=1440&bih=830

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  • 1
    I agree with monalisa, I also hear 你的. Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa 《蒙娜丽莎》? Or just a cold and lonely lovely work of art? (Nat King Cole song )
    – Pedroski
    Commented Sep 6, 2021 at 1:06
  • 1
    That's a four minutes long song. You should specify the time range of the part where you have question to avoid wasting answerers' time.
    – Betty
    Commented Sep 6, 2021 at 2:44
  • @Betty Apologies, Please skip to 00:00:58 for that exact line. Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 19:21
  • I really don't think the singer says 你的... Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 19:25

3 Answers 3

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As a native speaker, I think the singer's pronunciation is not very good. According to https://baike.baidu.com/item/梦然/6272879, she was born in inner Mongolia. It's possible that Mandarin is not her first language. At least her j, q, x, zh, ch, and sh all sound a little off to me. (Nowadays many Chinese singers learn to sing in foreign countries like the US or Korea, so they make sounds somewhat like foreigners. It could also be this reason.)

Anyway, due to the way she pronounces, this 张 does sound like 道 in the song.

Normally, as other answers have said, we don't use "一道笑脸". The correct collocation is "一张笑脸" or "一道笑容".

OP has found some occurrences of "一道笑脸", but they are all from net novels. Net novels are not proofread by qualified editors and could have all kinds of errors in them. (Some net novel writers haven't finished middle school education. They need to write several thousand characters a day so they don't have time to think. They misuse words all the time especially when it comes to literary expressions.)

Now we don't want to be prescriptive and say all these net novel writers are wrong. But bear in mind that this usage of "一道笑脸" is questionable at best. If you are a learner of Mandarin, it might be wise to focus on the established usages first.

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I think she sings 一直有你的笑脸, rather than "一 + measure".

While it isn't such a rare thing for a pop "lyricist" to twist grammar, sound, or other linguistic element to fit whatever music they are working on, "一道笑脸" would be going a little too far. You can have 一道菜,but not *一道脸。

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  • Thank you for your answer. Can you please review my edits? Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 19:17
  • Just did. Very strange usage. It is something I will not think of using. Is it a mistake? In my mind, yes, but hey, lots of people write "who's" for "whose", "it's" for "its", "lot's" for "lots", "lay" for "lie", etc. and people actually think those are correct.
    – monalisa
    Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 23:00
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No. "道" has the meaning of "path" which is usually straight unless additional description is given such as "彎道". So 道 is used to describe something is narrow and straight - "一道傷疤" or "心上又多了一道傷口".

"张" is used to describe something with a flat surface - "一张紙", "一张椅子", "一张床", and "一张脸" are all correct uses.

Note, a singer making mistakes on lyrics is not a rare event, even the superstars :)

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  • Did you get a chance to listen to the song that I provided? I am pretty sure the signer does not say "一张笑脸" Commented Sep 5, 2021 at 19:38
  • 1
    No. I don't think I need to. The farthest I can think a seemly valid sentence would be "一道笑容". you never describe the face using 道 but 张. Even he/she did sing "一道笑脸", I'll say - enjoy the song but ignore the incorrect word use, which could be a mispronunciation by the singer, a word chosen to fit the rhythm, or you have mistaken it for another word.
    – r13
    Commented Sep 5, 2021 at 19:54
  • Please review my edits. Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 19:17
  • Microtribute :) Yes, all mistakes. Sometimes, if we don't want to repeat the same word in a sentence, we can switch one to "一個笑脸" instead of repeating "一笑张脸". Note, the use of 道 is necessary and proper when describing the eyesight - "一道冷漠的眼光", or something straight - "一道挺直的鼻樑". Don't concern others making the mistake, just wish you do not commit the same mistakes.
    – r13
    Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 19:42
  • Hmmmm... are you a native Chinese speaker? Commented Sep 7, 2021 at 19:45

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