Feb 05, 2010 07:13 PM

Memes for The Masses


For mandarin speakers, the Internet is a linguistic playground. Online experimentation with the Chinese language has expanded the vernacular, while rhetorical techniques such as wordplay and parody have been used to great effect.

But some of that wordplay and parody among Chinese users of the Internet has been shaded with ridicule-and even hints of rebellion. Long-forgotten Chinese characters have been resurrected and curse words disguised in proverbial robes to criticize official corruption. Indeed, language on the Internet has become a veritable weapon for the weak often aimed at misuse of power.

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