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Dedicate a chrysanthemum with deep feeling

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shēnqíng xiàn júhuā 深情献菊花

Hu Jintao dedicating a white chrysanthemum to victims of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
The Xinhua headline, as syndicated by the China Youth Daily. (@wienqiang1/Sohu)

This phrase comes from a Xinhua headline widely syndicated in the Chinese press. When Hu Jintao visited a memorial to the victims of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake one year after the disaster, he dedicated a white chrysanthemum, the traditional flower of mourning. Xinhua ran a report on the event, over which the headline read “Hu Jintao, with deep feeling, bowed and dedicated a chrysanthemum” (胡锦涛深情俯身献菊花 Hú Jǐntāo shénqīng fǔshén xiàn júhuā). Unfortunately for Xinhua, the phrase “dedicate a chrysanthemum” has homosexual connotations in Chinese slang. Thus, without too far a stretch of the imagination, the headline could be interpreted, “Hu Jintao, with deep feeling, bent over and engaged in a homosexual act.” Netizens quickly circulated the headline, raising the ire of online censors. Xinhua hastily changed the headline, and

Baidu notice: “The search results may not be in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.”

searches on Baidu yielded a statement that the requested content may not be in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.

There have been a number of other headlines (too embarrassing to translate) with sexual readings that slipped past the editors of major newspapers: