surname-spelling scrap

Danwei has picked up on a story of someone in China with the surname of Xiè being issued an air ticket under the name Ji?. The reason behind the mixup is that the character used for this woman’s name, ?, is most often pronounced “jie,” as in ji?fàng (liberate; emancipate), ji?jué (solve; resolve; settle), li?oji? (understand; comprehend; find out; acquaint oneself with), and ji?shì (expound; interpret; analyze). Thus, it is but one of the many Chinese characters that has more than one pronunciation.

When she and some of her relatives went to the travel agency to get the matter cleared up, however, an argument broke out. Before long, people from the travel agency were using poles to beat the family.

(Maybe not my strongest entry, but there was no way I was going to pass up a chance to post on a story titled “Is personal safety another argument for Chinese romanization?”)

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