Archive for Slogans

IBM's "THINK" motto

Photograph taken by Hervé Guérin in the main lobby of IBM France:

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All the way with U in 2016/7

From Li Wei on Facebook:

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Smog the people

The smog in north China has been particularly horrendous for the past few weeks.  In some cities, the PM2.5 (particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrograms) index is over 1000 micrograms per cubic meter, and in some places has even reached above 1400.  The World Health Organization recommends 25 micrograms per cubic meter as the maximum safe level.  This means that the PM2.5 index in many Chinese cities often reaches levels that are 40 or 50 times greater than those recommended by the WHO.

Given these dangerous conditions, people naturally want to complain and criticize, but in China you get in trouble when you complain and criticize.  One way to release one's ire while hopefully avoiding arrest is to use satire, sarcasm, and irony (in addition to puns and romanization, which we have often documented on Language Log).

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Coffee and caffeine; laws and morals

A Korean chain coffee shop, Caffe Bene, recently opened a branch at 38th and Chestnut in University City, Philadelphia.  This is a design on one of the walls:

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T-shirt slogans

A 28-year-old Chinese citizen of Korean ethnicity, the activist Pyong Kwon (the Korean reading of his name would be Gweon Pyeong 권평; MSM Quán Píng 權平), has disappeared after telling a friend that he was planning to wear the t-shirt pictured below on the street on October 1, China's National Day.

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Go China

Jason Cox sent in the following very brief video from the USA-China basketball game at the Rio Olympics, showing a man holding a sign that says "Go USA".

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You ain't no Muslim

You ain't no Muslim, bruv! The phrase already gets more than 650,000 hits on Google in the UK, and the hashtag #YouAintNoMuslimBruv gets about 1,670,000. It is becoming a mantra, a talismanic incantation for conjuring up goodwill in a world where more and more attempts are being made to foment hatred between Muslims and everyone else.

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The city of Seoul, South Korea, has a new slogan.  This is what it looks like:

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Cabbages & Condoms

Tom Mazanec's uncle recently came across this sign in a restaurant in Chiang Rai, Thailand:

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Oli ko goli

Anschel Schaffer-Cohen writes:

I was reading this Guardian article about the newly elected prime minister of Nepal, and I was a bit surprised by this sentence:

Oli, 63, is generally popular in Nepal and has a reputation for being outspoken. Some use the phrase “Oli ko goli” to describe him – “When Oli speaks, he fires [a bullet]”.

Can so few syllables–three, not counting his name–actually contain that much information? What's the literal translation of this phrase, and if there's implied context where does it come from? Since I remember reading that you speak Nepali, I was hoping you could shed some light on this, either personally or on the blog.

You can find similar translations of “Oli ko goli” all over the web, but they're all wrong.

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Civilized language

Sign at a bus station in Inner Mongolia:

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Sort of rubblish

Back in 2009, somebody (unfortunately I forget who it was) sent me this photograph of a sign in Beijing:

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Cantonese protest slogans

We've been following the tumultuous Hong Kong democracy protests closely, e.g., "'Cantonese' song" (10/24/14), "The umbrella in Hong Kong" (10/19/14) and "Translating the Umbrella Revolution" (10/3/14), with plenty of additional material in the comments to these posts.

Now there is a new article in Quartz that focuses on the most popular slogans used by the protesters: "The backstory to seven of the most popular protest slogans in Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement" (10/23/14).

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