The cover for the DVD for Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride (Dìyù X?nniáng / ???? / “Hell Bride”) has what for me is an arresting usage: the roman letter “e” has been incorporated into a Chinese character.
At first I thought this substitution of “e” for the ? portion of the shì (?) phonetic element of ? (tí) might be meant as playfully phonetic itself: “Teem” Burton, of sorts.
But then I noticed how Johnny Depp’s name was written:
There’s that e again. But this case, the character, ?, which also has its ? element replaced, doesn’t have a long e sound in its pronunciation:
“Daipu”? That sounds like a portmanteau for what’s found in dirty diapers. (Sorry. Couldn’t resist.)
So it was just a case of a designer having fun. The e has no phonetic function here.
But there’s something else interesting about how Johnny Depp’s name is written. The first character, ?, takes more strokes to write in its so-called simplified form than in traditional Chinese characters.
traditional (11 strokes) ? ? “simplified” (12 strokes)