State media attacks use of clichés by officials

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 January, 2013, 4:54am


State media turned on the government's own use of language yesterday, mocking a list of "repulsive" official clichés submitted by the public.

The shaming of bureaucrat-speak, hosted on the microblog of People's Daily, came after the new leaders slammed the culture of long speeches and meetings and urged better governance.

"No speech is not 'important', no applause is not 'warm'," People's Daily said on its weibo account, as it poked fun at officialese and invited followers to share phrases they found irritating.

"No leader is not 'highly valued', no visit is not 'friendly', no accomplishment is not 'satisfactory', no achievements are not 'tremendous'," it continued.

Commenters ridiculed officials' tendency to give non-answers and criticised tiresome terms thrown around in meetings that dragged on.

"The most common one is 'relevant department'. When it's good news there's a specific department, when it's bad news it's a 'relevant department'," wrote a user named Suzhiqiang.

There were around 4,300 submissions as of late yesterday and a list of comments compiled by a local newspaper was reposted by several outlets, including Xinhua.

A user named Romeo provided a template for meetings: "Vigorously do this ... Thoroughly do that ... Don't do this ... Raise high ... Speed up ... Push forward ... Persevere ... Guarantee ..."

But others derided the effort to put down the officialese.

A blogger calling himself "One Who Probes" pointed out: "These official phrases, clichés, empty words, lies, didn't we learn them all from certain newspapers?"