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Is there any difference between the words 格好 and 恰好? Can I actually call them different words, or is it that they are just the same word written differently? I've been told that they have exactly the same meaning by a native, but possibly someone here might know a difference.

In the sentence:

朝みた時と同じ恰好で立っていた。

Would there be any difference in replacing the compound with 格好? If not, then why are there two currently existent "words" for the same concept?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

This page on alternative renderings of kanji compounds says that in order to simplify the kanji set, some compounds which contained uncommon kanji had components replaced with common homophonous kanji.

One set of changes was promulgated by the 国語審議会 in 1956, but the page also lists a number of changes which came into de facto use. 恰好→格好 is one such pair.

In many cases (for example 毀損→棄損), the homophony is only true in Japanese, and doesn't hold or no longer holds in Chinese. As such, some of the resulting compounds, which were originally common with Chinese, look a bit odd to Chinese readers.

The page also has a good list of homophonous compounds whose meanings are often confused.

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Is there any basis that exists for when alternative renderings of kanji compounds are terminated? The example in my post seem to both be still in use. Any reason for that? –  Chris Harris Aug 16 '12 at 5:20
    
@chris: This is a non-techinal suggestion but just because a particular kanji has a designated replacement it does not stop people using them, particularly if they have JIS codes (?) that allow their inclusion in computer software. This coding allows then to be used in an old place name or in reproduction of pre-1956 text with the original characters. Writers might also choose to use a particular character not just because they are mistaken or prefer them but to convey the context they are describing, which might explain the use you describe in your question. –  Tim Aug 17 '12 at 16:20
    
@Tim I do not understand the "context that the author is describing" in my question that would justify why 恰好 is used. If it is like you said, then would I need to post an entire paragraph/story in order for the context to be derived? –  Chris Harris Aug 17 '12 at 16:26
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