Chicago Manual of Style (at Shanghaiist, we favour the Guardian Style Guide). Image credit: @theredproject.
The People’s Daily, Shanghaiist’s third Biggest Loser of 2012, has published a startlingly oblivious piece mocking government officials’ use of language, based on a list of “repulsive” cliches submitted by readers.
Translation and summary by Agence France-Presse:
The public shaming of bureaucrat-speak – hosted on the microblog of the Communist Party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily – came after China’s new leaders slammed the culture of long speeches and meetings and urged better governance.
“No speech is not ‘important’, no applause is not ‘warm’,” the People’s Daily said on its Twitter-like Weibo account, as it poked fun at officialese and invited followers to share the phrases they found most irritating.
“No leader is not ‘highly valued’, no visit is not ‘friendly’, no accomplishment is not ‘satisfactory’, no achievements are not ‘tremendous’,” it continued.
An idiom about pots and black kettles comes to mind considering that the paper doing the admonishing is the same as that which published an entire article on the meaning of various types of applause at the 18th Party Congress (spoiler: they all mean that the Communist Party is great). Or, from this editorial on ‘What does 18th CPC National Congress tell the world’:
Facts prove that socialism with Chinese characteristics is a road to success because it has retained the fundamental principles of scientific socialism, added new distinct characteristics of the times to it, and provided both theoretical and practical answers to such fundamental questions as what kind of socialism a populous and weak country like China should build and how it should develop socialism.
Only perhaps Xinhua puts out dryer reporting and editorials than the People’s Daily, which should really recognise that it’s in a greenhouse before it starts to throw stones (see, we can use cliches as well as any CPC official!).