Top 10 Chinese buzzwords in 2019

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, December 31, 2019
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4. Integrating punchlines (融梗)

A poster of "Better Days" [Photo courtesy of Lianrui Pictures]

The Chinese word "geng" originally referred to a punchline or elements of humor in literary works, and later was also used to mean Déjà vu storylines and story ideas. The phrase means copying or incorporating elements or creativity from other works in a not so apparent plagiarism way. The critically-acclaimed Chinese drama film, "Better Days" turned the spotlight on the buzzword "rong geng" (integrating punchlines). The film, adapted from the novel "Young and Beautiful" by Jiu Yuexi, has been accused of copying elements from two books of Japanese mystery novelist Keigo Higashino, namely, "Journey Under the Midnight Sun" and "The Devotion of Suspect X," and aroused heated discussion over whether this was an example of plagiarism. However, even as internet users became increasingly convinced the film and its original novel are works of hidden plagiarism, "Better Days" eventually made 1.56 billion yuan at Chinese box offices. Its writer Jiu also released a statement denying "rong geng."

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