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‘Dude, I’m not your bro’ say comrades

Officials to maintain more decorum when addressing colleagues


Corruption in Guangdong was  recently dealt a swift double blow with a duo of disciplinary directives. In addition to countrywide regulations on what Party officials may and may not do, stipulations including the banning of upmarket alcohol and cigarettes, swanky hotels and scenic vistas, Guangzhou officials have now been prohibited from appearing at nightclubs, private clubs and discos. Officials across the whole province have, however, been recently informed of another directive forbidding them to address each other informally with terms such as  ‘Bro’, ‘Dude’, ‘Pal’, ‘Boss’ or ‘Chief”.

Ostensibly the move is to protect a major ideological doctrine of the Party: equality amongst members, such that individuals tasked with greater responsibility are not addressed as ‘superiors’ but rather something more along the lines of ‘supervisors’. However, it’s also likely designed to help smash the image of cronyism and sleaze that many Chinese identify with aspects of government, something presumably not helped by junior party members referring to their supervisors as ‘the bossman’, a term more redolent of the criminal underworld than the hallowed halls of government.

Supposedly part of a government drive against ills such as ‘formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance’, the condemnation of these ‘crass’ and ‘vulgar’ terms is designed to maintain the dignity and image of the regime.


Master Image by Craig Dugas from Bozeman, Montana, USA (Mongolian Beef  Uploaded by McGeddon) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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