Hong Kong protesters messing with the characters, part 2

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Among the new polysyllabic characters (called hétǐ zì 合體字 ["compound / synthesized characters"] in Chinese) created by the Hong Kong protesters is this one (see below in the "Readings" [especially the first item] for other examples).  It is preceded by this note: "Hongkongers will remember 721 & 831", which are references to the extreme brutality wreaked on the people of Hong Kong by hired gangsters on July 21 and by "police" on August 31, for which see 721 Yuen Long Nightmare and #831terroristattack (also here).  This new polysyllabic character is widely circulating on the internet and has come to me from many sources (here's one).

This composite character consists of elements of the following three Sinographs:

ging2 警 of ging2caat3 警察 (lit., "alert / vigilant observe / examine / inspect", i.e., "police")

hak1 黑 of hak1 se5wui6*2 黑社會 (lit., "black society", i.e., "organized crime; the triads; gangsters")

tit3 鐵 of tit3lou6 鐵路 (lit., "iron road", i.e., "railway; railroad")

It alludes to the collusion of police, hired gangsters, and railway authorities in the notorious beating of passengers described here:

The 2019 Yuen Long attack was a mob attack that occurred on 21 July 2019, in Yuen Long, Hong Kong. A mob of over 100 armed men dressed in white indiscriminately attacked civilians on the streets and passengers in the Yuen Long MTR station including the elderly, children, black-clad protesters, journalists and lawmakers. At least 45 people were injured in the incident, including a pregnant woman. The attack happened following an anti-extradition bill protest in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong and was an act threatening the pro-democracy protesters who were returning home to Yuen Long.

Despite thousands of reports made to the 999 emergency hotline, the police did not arrive for more than 30 minutes and finally arrived one minute after the mob had left the station. No arrests were made that night. Many accused the police of failing to protect citizens from being attacked, with some even alleging that the police colluded with the mobs.

One of the strongest weapons of the Hong Kong protesters against the armed might of the police, thugs, and increasingly military infiltrators from the north is language, both spoken and written, as described in this post and in the following earlier posts.



  1. SP said,

    September 1, 2019 @ 3:16 pm

    There's yet another thing that's hidden. In 黑, you can see the logo of the MTR, Hong Kong's subway system. The attacks of 721 and 831 took place in the MTR

  2. Victor Mair said,

    September 1, 2019 @ 6:42 pm

    Good eye, SP!

  3. Jenny Chu said,

    September 1, 2019 @ 6:42 pm

    SP, that's a really clever catch. Wow!

  4. Jerry Packard said,

    September 1, 2019 @ 6:43 pm


  5. Victor Mair said,

    September 1, 2019 @ 6:44 pm

    Amazing, Jenny!

    You and I submitted our comments at exactly the same instant — I wondered why mine was taking so long to go through. But I beat you by a nanosecond.

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