Boys and girls, it's time for language lesson of the day. Many expats who speak fluent Putonghua still find it hard to keep up with rapid changes in colloquialisms and invented words on the mainland. Here is a particularly useful one to know, as it has spawned a host of others. Bei ju ye, which may be loosely translated as pseudo-employment, is a mocking term referring to official statistics that include new university graduates as employed even though many are still looking for jobs that do not exist. The unofficial practice helps keep low the politically sensitive jobless rate among the young. With its use increasingly widespread, there are now many other expressions modelled on it. An example is 'pseudo-representation', which may refer to questionable tactics supervisors use to claim representation of the views of junior staff, or less than democratic processes in village, county and municipal elections. My favourite is 'pseudo-suicide', which sounds a lot nicer than murder. A favourite practice among public security officials, it enables the recording of lower murder rates and dispenses with the need to launch an investigation in the event of a suspicious death.