Personal tools

Passive era

From China Digital Space

Revision as of 19:38, 18 January 2013 by Anne (talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search

被时代 (bèi shídài): era of passive the tense

In this era, people are (clockwise from red characters in box) “made to be employed,” “made pregnant,” “made to have a comfortable life,” “suicided,” and “made to increase.”

A time when euphemistic labels are given to actions that belie the underlying compulsion behind those actions--that is, the present.

In Chinese, the grammatical construction bèi-X means “to be X-ed,” and implies that that the X-ed party has been forced or suffered to X. For example, someone invited to drink tea (i.e. called in by the police for interrogation) could say she “was tea-drinked” (被喝茶 bèi hé chá). Netizens have coined a number of terms using this construction, giving rise to the “era of the passive tense.”