Script of the Week: Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum script converter

Chrysanthemum script converted text: “Sensitive words can avoid being harmonized. Freedom of speech is a must!” (anliu/an-liu.cn)

菊花文 (júhuā wén): chrysanthemum script

Coded writing using the Combining Cyrillic Millions character ( ҉  ; Unicode: U+0489). Typically used in bi-directional text, where both left-to-right and right-to-left scripts are used simultaneously, Chinese netizens have employed ҉ to obscure sensitive online discussion.

When Combining Cyrillic Millions ( ҉ ) is inserted between each character in a word or phrase, the ҉ overlays each character, making it difficult to automate censorship. Online converters allow Internet users to create chrysanthemum script automatically.

҉ used to be blocked on Weibo, but is now searchable. It appears that using chrysanthemum script either have fallen out of fashion, or is no longer a viable technique to skirt censorship.

See also Martian script.

grass-mud horseThe  comes from China Digital Space’s Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, a glossary of terms created by Chinese netizens and frequently encountered in online political discussions. These are the words of China’s online “resistance discourse,” used to mock and subvert the official language around  and political correctness.