Today’s Classifier: 隻
Yes I know I’ve done 隻 （jek) before, but then I saw this 水牛，seoi ao, yesterday morning, and was lost in classifier-ation once again.
It seems that classifiers are simplifying and that people often use 個, goh, (piece) the most common classifier, for more and more things where other classifiers would be more appropriate. Therefore, if you say 一個水牛 yat goh seoi ao, instead of 一隻水牛 yat jek seoi ao, you won’t get taken outside and shot or anything.
It’s just that using the right classifier is more elegant. So 隻 is used for mammals, round things, boats, things of which there are two, like feet, shoes … and of course 三隻手 saam jek sao (three hands) – a pickpocket!