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This is from a Taiwanese short story.

對方終於掏出了那塊嶄白的手帕,和老花眼鏡,他擦拭著鏡片,先擦右邊,再擦左邊,擦完了又各在鏡腿上綹兩把:「這裡是學校的答覆,你可以看看。至於將來嘛,我們祝福你,鵬程萬里,啊——前途遠大。」

I’m having a hard time parsing the bold part. I first read 各 as referring to each lens but for that to be the case, I think the lens would have to be the subject in that clause but I can’t seem to find a matching predicate as 在 seems to be used as a preposition here and 綹 seems to be used only as a noun and even if it was used as a verb, it would be unlikely to express something a lens does on the temples of glasses. So I think 各 should be read as referring to each temple, but I’m not sure if it’s permitted to put 各 before 在 instead of immediately before 鏡腿. And even if I assume that’s OK, I still can’t make out what the clause is supposed to mean because there seems to be no verb in it. I would expect a verb like 有 if it is talking about a couple of strands of something being on the temples. I also don’t understand why 綹兩把 is put in that order.

I would appreciate it if someone could help me clarify all this.

4 Answers 4

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綹 can be a verb meaning "to wipe lightly", see 国语辞典. Hence the subject is 手帕 and the object is 鏡腿. 綹兩把 = to wipe a few times.

Using 各 to distribute a preposition phrase (在鏡腿上) is less common but still acceptable. Here is a corpus example:

为解决招后的师资紧缺和教学质量下滑问题,近几年各在 “引进新教师,建设师资队伍,加大师资培训力度”方面做了大量工作。

Here 各在鏡腿上 is slightly weird. If the author had used 各在两条镜腿上 then it would be much more apparent that 各 means the action is distributed over the two temples.

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  • Thanks. My dictionaries on iPhone and Mac, 五南國語活用辭典 (Traditional), 牛津英汉汉英词典 (Simplified-English), and 超級クラウン中日辞典 (Simplified-Japanese)all define 綹 only as a noun or a measure word. Is the usage as a verb not very common?
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Dec 5, 2023 at 15:43
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    綹 itself is already an uncommon character. It seems to be used more in Taiwan than in mainland. I'm not familiar with language in Taiwan. Commented Dec 5, 2023 at 17:10
  • 一朵朵飘浮的云彩, 一绺绺飘浮的云彩. One is for steady clouds, the other is for windy clouds.
    – PdotWang
    Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 15:55
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(v) - 輕拂。(a gentle brush; a gentle up-down rubs from one end to the other to eliminate dust)

  • "各/分別"在(每隻)鏡腿上綹兩把 - "separately" give each temple a gentle up-down rubs.

Note that the way to clean the temple is by holding the cleaning cloth and rubbing on it (back and forth from one end to the other), "綹" describes this action.

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  • Thanks. My dictionaries on iPhone and Mac, 五南國語活用辭典 (Traditional), 牛津英汉汉英词典 (Simplified-English), and 超級クラウン中日辞典 (Simplified-Japanese)all define 綹 only as a noun or a measure word. Is the usage as a verb not very common?
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Dec 5, 2023 at 15:43
  • See "汉典" (link provided).
    – r13
    Commented Dec 5, 2023 at 15:50
  • I’m not sure it answers my question about how common it is. Only 國語辭典 lists it as a verb there. Are you trying to tell me it’s therefore less common?
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Dec 5, 2023 at 16:00
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    It is not a common word in modern days. But it is quite common in literature - 綹鬍子, 綹綹秀髮, 綹不清....
    – r13
    Commented Dec 5, 2023 at 16:06
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The word "绺" in your sentence should be the verb "捋". For example,

他用手指捋(lv3)了一下他下巴那的一小绺(liu3)胡子.

捋 is pronounced the same as 吕, and 绺 is pronounced the same as 柳.

"绺" is usually a quantity word for something slender and soft. For example,

一绺绺的头发, 油迹斑斑".

Using "绺" as "捋" could be a mistake.

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As a Taiwanese native speaker: 各在鏡腿上綹兩把: 各:分別 Indicates that there is an order ,在:(prep.):on+ N.(鏡腿) ,綹:(v.)is an action means 輕拂(a gently stroke) ,兩:twice ,把:(N.)(measure words)計算手部動作( hand action)的單位。如:「推他一把」(give him a push)、「拉你一把」(give you a hand)。

  • Please correct me if there is any grammatical mistakes in English * Thanks

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