"I'm not hungry; I'm thirsty."
May I ask where you're from, Sara? I'm curious as to how big of an effect does location have on nuances like these, as geography will most probably has an effect -- especially with a language as widely spoken as Chinese.
I, for example, wouldn't say "我很渴" to say I'm thirsty; I'd say "我渴了" (simply because saying only "我渴" does sound weird or awkward) or "我口渴了" (again, the 了 naturally comes forth for me to make it to sound more natural).
I've commented this somewhere else, but "很" naturally means "very" for me, and I'm genuinely bothered if my life has also been a lie all this time!
I agree with you. I think there have been a lot of "nuances" artificially added to the language after the 1950s or maybe it's just the Beijing dialect of Mandarin (I'm no linguist, so this needs to be checked out). But 佷 is just one of these.
Those of us from the Chinese Diaspora seem to understand this and many other characters quite differently. One big one for me is the character 饭 which is used to mean 'meal' in the lessons here as in 早饭 for breakfast. We've always used 餐 which means meal, so breakfast should be 早餐 , same for lunch etc. Why twist the word for 'rice' to mean 'meal' when there is already a perfectly good and accurate word for that?
Should we start a thread to list the differences in nuances in words used in the Middle Kingdom as opposed to those used in the Diaspora? Just a thought.