Internet slang and emoticons were included in the Chinese-language section of this year’s college-entrance exam for Taiwan, to the dismay and confusion of many.
Examples of this in the exam include
- ::>_< ::
::>_< :: is supposed to represent crying. (The colons are tears, the underscore is the mouth, and the others are the eyes.)
For "3Q," the three is pronounced san and the Q is pronounced as in English, yielding "san Q," which is meant to represent the English phrase "thank you."
"Orz" is intended to be a pictograph of a person bowing down on the floor, with the O as the head, the vertical line of the r as the arms, and the z as the legs.
This test is crucial to the lives of those seeking to enter post-secondary education. Many students spend years studying for this exam. The nation's parents, stressed-out from worry about how their children will do on this test, will probably go ballistic over this. I'll be surprised if those questions end up being counted toward the final score.
On the other hand, I can't help but think that given how much Classical Chinese is certain to be on the test, a few questions about modern Internet slang might not be inappropriate. After all, the latter is likely to have more relevance to the majority of today's college students and even possibly more a part of modern Mandarin than some parts of literary Sinitic.
- Students baffled by 'Martian language' in Chinese test, China Post, January 23, 2006
- 好人注意！ 網友將賭爛心情出書 稱史上最強愛情哭爸書, December 29, 2005
- 網路用語入題乖乖牌失分學測國文考出火星文：「3Q得ORZ」「漲紅著臉幾乎快::>_< ::了」等被責失公平性, January 23, 2006
- 國文考火星文orz 考生霧煞煞