Mars script (sometimes called brain damaged script [脑残体]) is a form of coded Chinese writing that uses abbreviations, homophones, Roman letters, and other nonstandard characters. For instance, “don’t mention it,” (不要说 bú yào shuō) is shortened to biǎo shuō (表说) and the word “thank you” becomes 3q (sān q). A free Chinese-to-Martian converter app is available on Baidu from I Love Martian Script (我爱火星文). See Wikipedia for origins and usage.
ex. The Song of the Grass-Mud Horse in Martian script:
There is a herd of grass-mud horses
In the wild and beautiful Mahler Desert
They are lively and intelligent
they are fun-loving and nimble
They live freely in the Mahler Desert
They are courageous, tenacious, and overcome the difficult environment
To protect their grassland, they battled the river crabs
River crabs are forever banished from Mahler Desert
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.