Re: Origin of expression 69

Maurice Scharton (
Sat, 6 Apr 1996 18:19:34 -0500

I would think that your student, if she is a native speaker of Chinese,
could find some kind of background in the development of her own language
from pictographs to ideographs. As I understand it, the pictographs
originally represented non-arbitrary links between sign and reference. As
the language developed the links became lost, the usage broadened or
changed in some other way, and the sign-referent relationship became

M. Scharton
Illinois State Univ