The PRC and Language

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

So says the People’s Republic of China government, too. Here’s the State Administration for Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, on banning puns from news media, other programming, even advertising:

Radio and television authorities at all levels must tighten up their regulations and crack down on the irregular and inaccurate use of the Chinese language, especially the misuse of idioms[.]

After all, puns and idioms could lead to “culture and linguistic chaos.” Can’t have that. Order, dammit. Especially the government’s definition of order. The PRC government’s incumbents do clearly understand that language is thought.

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