Chinese Olympics Blogging: Comedy Sports on the Web

Jonathan Ansfield writes in the NewsWeek:

The pressures on dissent have inspired the blogosphere to new feats of linguistic gymnastics. So as to deride by indirection and escape the radar of post scrubbers (not to mention humorless patriots), bloggers are up to their old tricks again. They’re trying farce, spoof and other forms of couched criticism, rearranging compound words and entire blocks of text, and in particular, coining various snide twists on the Chinese for Olympic Games, ao yun (奥运) for short.

Many of these turns of phrase have multipile interpretations. Keyword filters have not caught up with them. There’s nao yun (闹运), which could be defined as “troublesome Olympics”, the “make-trouble Olympics” or just plain “no Olympics”. And there’s bi yun (避运), literally to “shun” or “avoid the Games”, is also a homophone for the Chinese for contraception, and thus a dig at the snug wrap of security over the Games. Ergo a biyuntao, or condom, is the current tourism industry slang for a “package to avoid the Games”. The blogger heading South may be about to head on one.

I myself am partial to an expression that I began using on my own: ao yun (熬晕), as in 我熬晕了, which in my mind roughly translates: “I’m so sick of the Games I could faint.” My Chinese friends generally don’t seem to get at first. Maybe that’s because of the tonal discrepancy with the ao yun for Olympics. More likely, it’s just not that funny.

On Thursday, the acclaimed journalist Chen Feng took to blogging a series of Olympic news satire named for yet another derogatory expression for the Games, the gong wai yun (恭外运). Literally, the coinage is an abbreviation for an “event where foreign athletes are respectfully received.” Alternately, it’s a homophone for “extrauterine pregnancy”.

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