Tuesday, December 04, 2018

One Country, Two Languages

Predictably, following Eddie Chu's contentious disqualification from a village election, pro-Beijing forces are now suggesting that he should also be stripped of his LegCo seat. What is interesting about this is not their typically fatuous arguments, but how mainlandization is infiltrating the language of politics in Hong Kong. DAB leader Stalin, sorry Starry, Lee is quoted as saying:
“We wanted the Legislative Council to be more harmonious as there is only around a year left for this term. But there is a new development and we have to discuss it.”
"Harmonious", in this sense, is pure mainland-speak, meaning purged of opposition voices.  In standard English, the correct word for this is "unrepresentative" or "undemocratic".  George Orwell, thou shouldst be living at this hour!

And a postscript: after writing this post, I came across another example of how "harmony" apparently has a different meaning in the mainland - in this case the toleration of threats and violence:
                ‘Preserve family harmony’: Chinese courts give domestic abusers a pass