Words like ‘Wi-fi’ and ‘iPhone’ are destroying the fabric of Chinese civilization and language, at least according to a recent article by master-troll People’s Daily, which railed against the use of modern English loan-words in Chinese conversation. Internet users and, well, everybody else, have been pretty merciless in criticizing the Daily on this one.
The newspaper (if you can call it that) stated that “mingling foreign words in Chinese has damaged the Chinese language’s purity and undermined communication.” Fear not, for the mocking minds of Weibo got all over this, as South China Morning Post reports:
The Weibo topic “Grand competition to keep the purity of the Chinese language,” a jocular term coined by online users as they poke fun at the official campaign, [has] received almost 130,000 hits.
“Excuse me, do you know where the Very Important Person lounge is?” one online user wrote, envisioning how a conversation would sound without using the English term VIP.
Another wrote: “Today’s level of ‘atmospheric particulate matter with diameter of 2.5 micrometres or less’ has broken the record again,” in a mock media report that avoids the use of PM2.5, which has become a household term amid China’s soaring air pollution.
Internet users also reminded (surely listening) government censors that CCTV once stopped using the term “NBA” and switched to (in Chinese) the “US professional basketball association,” but they, you know, kept calling their station CCTV. Nailed it.