The Word of the Week 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 censorship and political correctness.
On the morning of August 24, 2012, an overland section of the Yangmingtan Bridge collapsed in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, killing three and injuring five others.
After the accident, the government convened a press conference in which the secretary of the Harbin city government stated that a section of the road had “slipped” [zh]. Netizens were critical of the government calling it a section of “road” (instead of a section of “bridge”) and a “slip” (instead of a “collapse”).
The government initially placed the blame on overloaded vehicles (a common scapegoat in a string of similar accidents across China) and then launched a formal investigation. The government denied initial reports that the contractors could not be found.