Archive for Misspeaking

Yet another literary misreading by Xi Jinping

This one amounts to a Sinitic spoonerism.

In his major July 1 speech celebrating the 100th anniversary of the CCP, Xi Jinping wanted to impress people with this set phrase:

yízhǐqìshǐ

頤指氣使 / 颐指气使

lit. "chin / jaw / cheek — point out / at [with a finger] — haughty attitude / bearing — command / order / dispatch"

i.e., "(arrogantly / contemptuously) give orders; boss people around (by looks and gestures)"

Instead, what came out of his mouth was this:

yíshǐqìzhǐ

頤使氣指

which might be playfully rendered as something like "beatbrow"

This expression goes back to at least the Tang period (618-907).

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Thailand or Thighland? Dinesh D'Douza sets us straight.

 

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Goonerisms spalore!

"Prinderella and the Cince Told by Cynthia Hall Domine"

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Stay uninflected!

Students, former students, colleagues, and friends all around the world have been sending me best wishes during this age of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their impression is that things in America now are particularly bad. They offer me face masks and other PPE, they worry about my health, they give me all sorts of advice.

I just received my favorite piece of encouragement thus far from a student who is stuck in Beijing:

"Stay uninflected!"

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"Per day" or "today"?

President Trump meets with the Vice Premier of China, Liu He, in the White House:

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