Some say ‘no 3Q’ to Net slang in Chinese test

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

  • ::>_< ::
  • 3Q
  • Orz

::>_< :: 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.


7 thoughts on “Some say ‘no 3Q’ to Net slang in Chinese test

  1. In Japanese you can write “sankyuu” 39 (and some people do).

    Also, perhaps this is also just Japanese because I notice this “mistake” in a couple of those articles, but I believe the “o” in “orz” should be lowercase. The head is just too big otherwize. (And the capitalized version of “orz” is “OTL”. “ORZ” is right out!)

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  3. I looked at several sources to try to figure out which version was really on the test: Orz or orz. The results are mixed.

    Also, as predicted, people have already started complaining.

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  6. Sorry what does Orz mean in everyday discourse? Or better in what context is it used?
    thanks xie xie for the post.

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