“You’re stepping on my shadow, please back off,” she said.

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

Freedom, with bits missing

By Eric Abrahamsen, published

How to feel like a complete noob at the Chinese internet:

Step One: Browse weibo. Notice heated discussions about something called 目田, which apparently means "eye field". Have the vague feeling that you're not getting the joke.

Step Two: Finally catch on that 目田 (eye field) is just 自由 (freedom), with bits missing.

If only the internet censors were this slow…

Comments

# 1.   

There's poetry in that...

目田
Just freedom,
with bits missing.

Cindy Carter, January 20, 2012, 7:05a.m.

# 2.   

I guess freedom's not just another word for nothing left to lose.

Lucas

Lucas Klein, January 20, 2012, 10:07p.m.

# 3.   

This usage started in 2010 with the censorship of the World of Warcraft online game.

See China Geeks http://chinageeks.org/2010/09/beheading-freedom/

Jeremy Goldkorn, February 13, 2012, 3:23a.m.

# 4.   

Thanks for the link! Once again my failure to play MMORPGs puts me behind the times…

 Eric Abrahamsen, February 13, 2012, 10:27a.m.

# 5.   

Also look out for 氏王, or clan king, which is a truncated form of a certain form of government that encourages popular participation.

http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2614

Hugo, February 14, 2012, 12:58p.m.

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