Net-savvy Chinese say ’88’ to traditional vocabulary – Geoffrey York

From The Globe and Mail:

Call it the “88” generation.

In the new age of hip, young, Web-savvy Chinese, you don’t say goodbye with an old-fashioned Chinese word. You sign off your messages with a cheery “88” — a phrase that baffles parents and horrifies conservative language guardians.

The phrase’s origins are a crossbreed of English and Chinese cybershorthand, a globalized argot favoured by the Internet crowd here. The Chinese word for eight is ba, so 88 can be pronounced as ba-ba or bye-bye.

November 11, 2005, 8:22 AM
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