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被时代 (bèi shídài): Era of the passive tense
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<h3>''bèi shídài'' 被时代</h3>
  
[[File:Eraofpassivetense.jpg|300px|thumb|left]] A time when euphemistic labels are given to actions that belie the underlying compulsion behind those actions--that is, the present.
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[[File:被代表.jpg|250px|thumb|right|''"We don't want to be represented." (Source: [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2009/11/residents-protest-garbage-incinerator-in-guangdong/ @LEMONed])'']]Time period when euphemistic labels are given to actions that belie the underlying compulsion behind those actions—that is, the present.
  
In Chinese, the grammatical construction ''bei''-X means “to be Xed,“ and implies that that the Xed party has been forced or suffered to X. For example, someone who was invited to [[drink tea]] (i.e. was called in by the police for interrogation) could say she “was tea-drinked” (bèi hé chá 被喝茶). Netizens have coined a [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/space/Be_represented,_be_suicided,_be_increased,_be_GFWed,_be_XXed number of terms] using this construction, giving rise to the “era of the passive tense.
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In Mandarin, the passive marker (''bèi'' 被) typically [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_grammar#Passive indicates adversity or misfortune]. If your homework '''is eaten''' by your dog (zuòyè '''bèi''' gǒu '''chī le '''作业'''被'''狗'''吃了'''), you are not looking forward to explaining this to your teacher. In the current political context, the passive voice implies that the subject is forced to perform or endure, usually by the party-state. Perry Link and Xiao Qiang call this the "[http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2013/01/in-chinas-cyberspace-dissent-speaks-code/ involuntary passive]."
  
[[Category: Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon]]
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<h4>Common ''Bei'' Constructions</h4>
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'''be employed (''bèi jiùyè'' 被就业)'''
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In 2009, universities and colleges began using contracts between recruiters and students to [http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%A2%AB%E5%B0%B1%E4%B8%9A inflate the graduate employment rate].
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'''be increased (''bèi zēngzhǎng'' 被增长)'''
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Coined by netizen Xia Yucai, who in 2009 expressed disbelief at a [http://www.hudong.com/wiki/%E8%A2%AB%E5%A2%9E%E9%95%BF government report showing that average wages had increased].
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'''be represented (''bèi dàibiǎo'' 被代表)'''
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To have your wishes disregarded by the government while it ostensibly speaks on your behalf. In December 2009, the city of Jinan held a public hearing on water utility fees. Netizens suspected that the [http://www.baike.com/wiki/%E8%A2%AB%E4%BB%A3%E8%A1%A8 "representatives"] present, who supported the fee increase, were actually government plants.
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'''be suicided (''bèi zìshā'' 被自杀)'''
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To be compelled to commit suicide; to be [http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2206 beaten to death] or [http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2013/05/netizen-voices-dont-suicide-me-a-weibo-vow/ die under mysterious circumstances] and have one's murder covered up by the authorities.
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'''be tea-drinked (''bèi hē chá'' 被喝茶)'''
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To be interrogated by the police about political subversive activities. See [[drink tea]].
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'''be wall-raped (bèi qiángjiān 墙奸)'''
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To be [[wall-rape|blocked by the Great Firewall]].
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[[Category:Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon]][[Category:Resistance Discourse]]

Latest revision as of 18:25, 26 February 2016

bèi shídài 被时代

"We don't want to be represented." (Source: @LEMONed)

Time period when euphemistic labels are given to actions that belie the underlying compulsion behind those actions—that is, the present.

In Mandarin, the passive marker (bèi 被) typically indicates adversity or misfortune. If your homework is eaten by your dog (zuòyè bèi gǒu chī le 作业吃了), you are not looking forward to explaining this to your teacher. In the current political context, the passive voice implies that the subject is forced to perform or endure, usually by the party-state. Perry Link and Xiao Qiang call this the "involuntary passive."

Common Bei Constructions

be employed (bèi jiùyè 被就业) In 2009, universities and colleges began using contracts between recruiters and students to inflate the graduate employment rate.

be increased (bèi zēngzhǎng 被增长) Coined by netizen Xia Yucai, who in 2009 expressed disbelief at a government report showing that average wages had increased.

be represented (bèi dàibiǎo 被代表) To have your wishes disregarded by the government while it ostensibly speaks on your behalf. In December 2009, the city of Jinan held a public hearing on water utility fees. Netizens suspected that the "representatives" present, who supported the fee increase, were actually government plants.

be suicided (bèi zìshā 被自杀) To be compelled to commit suicide; to be beaten to death or die under mysterious circumstances and have one's murder covered up by the authorities.

be tea-drinked (bèi hē chá 被喝茶) To be interrogated by the police about political subversive activities. See drink tea.

be wall-raped (bèi qiángjiān 墙奸) To be blocked by the Great Firewall.