China’s media office is cracking down on puns.
And not because they’re terrible — they claim that wordplay is confusing, and damaging to cultural heritage. But is this just an attempt to control dissent?
By the way, how many characters should there be in a Chinese tweet?
Linguist Daniel Midgley checks it out on this episode of Talk the Talk.
Listen to this episode
Promo with James Hall
Lake Superior State University’s list of banned words
Which Word Should Be Banned in 2015?
About half the world’s languages use tone instead of stress.
Here’s ‘ma’ in all four tones.
Coca-Cola: The real story behind “Bite the wax tadpole”
Chinese puns: There are a lot to choose from
Guardian: China bans wordplay in attempt at pun control
Punning banned in China
This goes way back. ‘To evade censors, bloggers have referred to the dissident artist Ai Weiwei by using the Chinese characters for “love the future,” a rough homonym of his name.’
Ladies and gentlemen: the Grass Mud Horse, a Chinese meme
Let’s not forget Liu Xiaobo
Slow Down! Why Some Languages Sound So Fast
Regardless of language, people give information at about the same rate. (PDF)
140 Characters On Chinese Twitter Is More Like 500 Characters On Twitter.com
“Chinese words tend to be short on average—only 1.5 characters per word, compared with 5.1 letters per word for English.”
How much can one express in 140 characters? Comparison between English and other languages like Chinese
How ‘Neurosexism’ Feeds Stereotypes About Male and Female Brains
‘Brain in a Bottle’ by Thom Yorke
from the album Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes
If you like the graphic of the Grass Mud Horse and the River Crab, you can buy a copy here on Jessie Wong’s website.