Courting soft-power disaster

China manages to turn its Hong Kong mess into a soft-power travesty in the US, as the NBA and South Park become part of the drama’s global angle. Hillary Clinton weighs in on Beijing’s exquisitely dim-witted freak-out against US basketball managers who ‘hurt the feelings’ of the Almighty Panda…

(Americans who dislike seeing their purer form of English corrupted by newer Britishisms will note her use of the phrase ‘full stop’, which they – like Shakespeare – would usually call a ‘period’. It seems that as a turn of phrase, if not as a specific reference to punctuation, this is now A Thing, at least among Democrats. Liberal elites who read New Yorker, watch the UK version of The Office? Just guessing.)

The rest of this week will mostly be links, owing to major and tragic failure of my normally dependable work-avoidance system.

Starting with this – an academic (and avid collector of spent riot-control munitions) compares Xi Jinping’s screw-up in Hong Kong with his Xinjiang one. A brief discussion on it here.

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12 Responses to Courting soft-power disaster

  1. Chewbacca says:

    Scholars will know: Shakespearean English sounded more like the American twang we have grown used to in Sex and the City than the heraldic utterances of Sir Alec Guinness in such historical dramas as “Star Wars.”

  2. odaiwai says:

    It has much more of a west country twang to my ear than American, although the Appalachian accent is said to be close too.

    Listen for yourselves: Shakespeare in the original pronounciation:
    (Hamlet outtake:

  3. Stanley Lieber says:

    Americans used to say, “in the final analysis”. Now they say, “at the end of the day”.

    Americans used to say, “period”. Now they say, “full stop”.

    Americans used to say, “in Europe”. Now they say, “across the pond”.

    Poseurs like Mrs. Clinton are conspiring with the British to ruin the English language.

  4. dimuendo says:


    Thank you for a very interesting first link.

    I have no idea who is Ben Crystal but not as interesting, informative or entertaining.

  5. Din Dan Che says:

    If Hillary had used the word “period”, then the Deplorables will be at her again saying she’s raving at the wrong time of the month.

  6. Fish says:

    I was caught up in the “Every American” and “their” subject agreement issue… Avoiding “Every American has the right to voice his support” is much more American than the use of “Full stop.”. But I guess I will take it over “Every American has the right to voice his, her, its, or their support” when covering all of the PC bases.

  7. @odaiwai – I’ve read that it was more like today’s West Midlands accent – which makes sense considering the location of Stratford-upon-Avon. American English retains many older usages (such as “gotten”) which have disappeared from modern English usage.

  8. Clucks Defiance says:

    The Xinjiang vs Hong Kong link is a good read.

    For anyone who wants a glimpse of the future for Hong Kong (or doubts the CCP’s ability to resolve the situation here), take a look at this poor bunch of Uighurs being ferried by train and frog-marched to ‘re-education’ camps.

    The close up of the blindfolded eyes and tied hands says it all. Worse than Poland 1939-1945.

    This is the very frightening brink that Carrie Lam is taking us to…

  9. Des Espoir says:

    I am reminded of the sign outside the Stratford-upon-Avon camping shop advertising their end-of-year clearance.. “Now is the winter of our discount tents…”

  10. @Fish – why not avoid the whole issue in this case by just saying “every American has the right to voice support”? But if people keep deciding they belong to new genders or none at all, we do need a new word that embraces “his, her, its, or their” identity.

    P.S. What a pleasure to post about something other than Hong Kong’s ongoing collapse!

  11. stanley gibbons says:

    ‘What a pleasure to post about something other than Hong Kong’s ongoing collapse!’

    Apart from Clucks Defiance contribution, the rest of the posts above are of negligible academic
    interest in these times. It’s like the Happy Valley facebook group discussing street dogshitting, as the shirts are escaping up their alleys.

  12. Hong Kong Hibernian says:

    Oh, how beautifully the commie card (commie canard?) was misplayed by the oily-haired freak show in Zhongnanhai. How out of touch these ‘new traditionalists’ are with anything modern (or [gasp!] postmodern)!

    Lesson learned: Winnie the Pooh is no match for the kids of South Park.

    The Brookings Institution has the proper spin IMHO:

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