Those Wacky Maoists

A while back, I acquired a copy of A NEW ENGLISH – CHINESE DICTIONARY, which, being printed in communist China in 1974, is a lot of fun. These guys took George Orwell’s Principles of Newspeak to heart. The “context” examples for each definition are jammed-packed full of clumsy propaganda:[ul][li]sacrifice ['sækrifais] – Sacrifice one’s life for the glorious cause of communism.[]tradition [tre’dishen] – A glorious revolutionary tradition / Keep up the fine tradition of plain living and hard work.[]vision ['vi3ên] – Have the wide vision of a proletarian revolutionary.[/ul]And on and on and on.[/li]
Well, I’ve decided to spend a bit of time making a webpage devoted to some of the more outlandish examples of that sort of thing.
Take a look at a rough sketch of the “A” page that I threw together today. (I will make a similar page for A through Z.)

Do you guys think that anyone will find this funny / interesting, or is it just me?

I think it’s brilliant. The entire thing is like that? Hilarious. More, please.

An aside: I believe Microsoft got into trouble in China a couple of years back when the thesaurus function on its (Chinese) word processing software yielded “bandit” as an alternative for “communist”. The word lists had come from Taiwan.

btw, where did you get the dictionary?

Reading in more detail. “…‘peaceful transition’ is a blind alley” That’s still part of the catechism today.

Just what is "the reactionary ‘theory of human nature’ "?

i just love punctuatin

Yeah, it’s a pretty surreal document. It’ll take a week or so to put a half-assed site together. If you want another quick hit, here’s B. When I have some sort of navigation done up for it, the front page will be at

A friend found it in a used bookstore and gave it to me during my last attempt to learn mandarin. Not really useful, but I love it. A label in the front indicates it was “borrowed” from the Computer Centre at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

[b[Larry** Hold on to it. This sort of thing is hot property. I know people who collect and trade Maoist material. I know one guy who buys up old communist-era children’s books. Get your hands on enough of it, and you can retire!

Jesus, reminds me of my first Chinese textbook. The old yellow one. Included in the lessons were stuff like the “glorious 8th route army”, story of the “white haired woman” and all sorts of communist vocabulary. Thank god the updated series came out about 6 months later and we switched over. It’s bad enough trying to build vocabulary without having to learn words like proletariat.