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Kuangmiu zhengsu 匡謬正俗

Feb 27, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald

Kuangmiu zhengsu 匡謬正俗 "Rectification of errors and corrections of the unorthodox" is a handbook on typical writing errors compiled during the Tang period 唐 (618-907) by the scholar Yan Shigu 顏師古 (581-645). The book was acutally not finished, but was submitted to the throne in 651 by Yan's son Yan Yangting 顏揚庭 (d. 690). At that time it had a length of 8 juan. The book survived as part of the library of the Imperial Archives (Mishuge 秘書閣).

During the Song period 宋 (960-1279) it was called Kanmiu zhengsu 刊謬正俗, in order to avoid the personal name of the dynasty's founder, Zhao Kuangyin 趙匡胤 (Song Taizu 宋太祖, r. 960-975). In 182 paragraphs, Yan Shigu points at writing errors in the common versions of important classical writings. Although seldomly consulted today, the Kuangmiu zhengsu is one of the first books in which textual critique was developed as an important tool for the study of ancient writings. In bibliographies, the Kuangmiu zhengsu belongs to the category of books of "lesser learning" (Xiaoxue 小學), often translated as "lexicography".

The oldest surviving editions of the book in the series Yayutang cangshu 雅雨堂藏書 and Shiliju congshu 士禮居叢書 are not very reliable and full of clerical errors. A relatively good version was published in 1814 by Zhang Shaoren 張紹仁 which is now kept in the Beijing Library 北京圖書館. The Kuangmiu zhengsu is also included in the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書.

Sources:
Deng Wenqi 鄧文琦, Fan Zhi'ou 范知歐 (2004). "Kuangmiu zhengyu de xunguxue gongxian 《匡謬正俗》的訓詁學貢獻", Lulun xuekan 理論學刊, 2004 (11).
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文郁, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 673.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 316.
Xiang Lijuan 向莉娟 (2011). "Qianlun Yan Shigu Kuangmiu zhengsu zai wenxueshi shang de jiazhi 淺論顔師古《匡謬正俗》在文字學史上的價值", Fanxiang Zhiye Jishu Xueyuan xuebao 襄樊職業技術學院學報, 2011 (11).
Xu Chuanshan 徐川山 (1992). "Kuangmiu zhengsu 匡謬正俗", in Zhou Gucheng 周谷城, ed. Zhongguo xueshu mingzhu tiyao 中國學術名著提要, Vol. Yuyan wenzi 語言文字卷 (Shanghai: Fudan daxue chubanshe), 242.
Yuan Mingren 袁明仁 et al., ed. (1992). Sanqin lishi wenhua cidian 三秦歷史文化辭典 (Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin jiaoyu chubanshe), 108.
Zhao Boyi 趙伯義 (2004). "Lun Yan Shigu de Kuangmiu zhengsu 論顔師古的《匡謬正俗》", Hebei Shifan Daxue xuebao (Zhexue shehui kexue ban) 河北師範大學學報(哲學社會科學版), 2004 (1).
Zhou Zumo 周祖謨 (1988). "Kuangmiu zhengsu 匡謬正俗", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Yuyan wenzi 語言•文字 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), 243.