Cyber Languages 'contaminating' Chinese linguistic purity? Yes or No?

By He Keyao ( ) Updated: 2015-01-27 10:32:22

Cyber Languages 'contaminating' Chinese linguistic purity? Yes or No?

Cyber phrases such as "Diao Si" are popular on the Internet. [Photo/]

Popular cyber phrases such as "Diao Si" (Grass root or loser) and "Zhuang Bi" (pretentious or showing off) are "polluting" the Chinese language. That's according to a Shanghai CPPCC (Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference) member on the third session of the 12th Shanghai political consultative conference.

"Language, as one of the most essential culture carriers, features the character of a nation and a country. Many people are protecting their linguistic purity to preserve their cultural characteristics," said Zhang Huaiqiong, a Shanghai CPPCC member. He called for a reduced use in some of what can be considered disgraceful cyberwords.

"There are a number of cyber phrases created due to the development of Internet. Some of them reflect social progress, which should be affirmed. However, some other words are coarse and obscene and cannot be regarded as the progress of culture at all," Zhang said. He stressed that words such as "Diao Si", "Zhuang Bi" belong to the latter category.

Zhang's comment spurred an immediate outcry among Chinese netizens, with many Sina Weibo users giving a thumb-down on the Chinese version of Twitter.

"Could you please pay attention to some REAL important subjects, such as how to control the smog, OK?" said Weibo user Zhong Du Zhong er YNWA. Similar responses are easily seen on the Internet.

"There are always changes in language and linguistic expressions. Those vulgar words exist in every country, including overseas. The key point is how much you care about those words. If you think negatively, you will find these words negative as well. But for most of the time, we just use these phrases for bantering," Weibo user Xiao Ma'ke said.

"I admit that some cyber languages are disgraceful, yet the avocation like this is even more ridiculous. In the name of protecting our language, Zhang's suggestion is actually killing it. In ancient Chinese language, there are even more coarse words, yet they are collected and treasured in the museums, Weibo user Zhou Xiaoniu commented.

Meanwhile, Zhang has supporters, though not many.

"Those cyber phrases are to hash to the ear and I hope we can ban them. When I was a kid, I didn't dare to speak like that because this was dirty talk and my parents and teachers hated it. But now these phrases have become popular online. It's just impossible," a Sina Weibo user named Meisan responded.


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