Politically Loaded Terms: A Call for New Terminology

I am surprised that people in Taiwan still use so many of the outdated Colonial era politically loaded terms. There was another thread I started a few years ago about this, but I never asked for help for new terms.

Here are some of the egregious misnomers.

Mainland: Implies that Taiwan is a part of offshore China. They way people in the USA refer to the mainland when in Hawaii.

Taiwan Independence: Taiwan is already an independent sovereign nation as everyone that reads this forum knows it is not part of China or any other country. Granted, Taiwan is not a member of the UN, but neither was anyone else 100 years ago. UN Membership does not define a country. By referring to those who oppose Taiwan being invaded by China as Taiwan Independent Activists, it implies that Taiwan is currently a part of China and they want their indepedence.

WaiShengRen and BenShengRen - These terms imply that Taiwan is just another province of China, which is simply not true.

Can ayone please help to come up with some new terms?

The first one is easy. Instead of Mainland, just called it by its name: China. What about Taiwan Independence and WSR and BSR?


Mainland: Implies that Taiwan is a part of offshore China. They way people in the USA refer to the mainland when in Hawaii.[/quote]
Ahem. According to the law and the name of the government of the place where you live, Taiwan is indeed a part of “offshore China.” It’s called the Republic of China. It’s the name of the issueing authority for the visa that allows you to remain in Taiwan. Have a look at it if you don’t believe me.

Then why isn’t it officially called “Taiwan?”

According to the law of the land where you live, Taiwan is a province of the Republic of China.

Here’s a new term: nincompoop. This is the term that I decree must from this day forward be used to describe any and all foreigners or local residents of Taiwan who insist that the words that 99% of all people use when talking about present realities in Taiwan and the mainland (oh dear, I must have offended you with that one) are just no good and must be changed to suit the nincompoops’ world view.

Not true according to whom?

It all depends on your political persuasion.

[quote=“Hobart”]I am appalled of the continued use of outdated Colonial era politically loaded terms.
Mainland: Implies that Taiwan is a part of offshore China. They way people in the USA refer to the mainland when in Hawaii[/quote]
If you’r so appalled, why not give yourself a chance to move to Hawaii. That’ll solve all your imaginative problems, Hobart.

BeeBee, I can’t move to Hawaii that easily. After 10 years here, I have a house, a business and a family here in Taiwan. Why don’t you move back to China?

Chris: Taiwan is not a province of China and it has nothing to do with your political persuasion, it is a fact. According to the laws of the PRC, provinces cannot have their own military, postal service, currency and so on.

Jive Turkey: Taiwan could be called Taiwan the African Republic and it wouldn’t make it so. The reality is that Taiwan is not a part of China, unfortunately for you, HK is.

Just like your house, business, and family, the Republic of China is a real entity.

There are no new terms you can use spin these facts. Changing those WSR and BSR terms to post-1949 Han and pre-1949 Han, would not make an ounce of difference in ethnic politics on Taiwan.

I’m surprised that no one has mentioned this yet, but uh, what you’re calling “Taiwan” consists of at least two provinces: Taiwan, and Fujian (Kinmen/Matsu).

Fortunately, I don’t think we’re in any danger of having Hobart becoming an opinion leader in Taiwan… so his inaccurate take on this issue doesn’t really seem all that important.

Hehehe, you guys are amaze me. Do so many forum members really think Taiwan and China are the same country or that Taiwan is a province of Communist China? This is hilarious.

People get used to terminology. I know some fairly green people who talk about the Dalu and Waishengren. To them of course there is no Dalu and no “sheng”. Is the terminology that important? The terminology used to refer to black Americans is changing so frequently that I can barely keep up, but is that a reflection of improvements in the socio-politico-economic situation of balck Americans? The chaps who were in America before the white man arrived and whom I referred to as “Red Indians” as a child, and for whom I now do not know the correct term (“Native Americans”? “First Americans/People”?) - are they better off now the nomenclature has changed? What about the aboriginals in Australia? Or even in Taiwan? Whilst all the Chinese people and the foreign residents are wringing their hands about how “Chinese” or “Taiwanese” we all are (or not) does anyone want to hand Taiwan back to the Yuanzhumin? And so on for 400 years…

Lord Lucan: It is the Greens tht I am surprised that use these terms too. I think it misleads people. One that is particularly bad is Taiwan Indepedence Activists. It almost sounds like Taiwan is Tibet and is part of China and they need to protest for their freedom from Communism. This is an English term which is more damaging to world opinion and understanding.

It is not about being PC it is about misleading perceptions and misinformation, Anachronisms not appropriate for 2006. Besides politically loaded, the WSR and BSR thing is divisive and part of the problem.

Agree with you, Hobart. Even if the habitually used English terms have little connection to reality, still an individual writer can try to be more responsible. For me the mother of all misnomers is simply “China” itself. If we could put it into a sort of verbal quarantine we could avoid contamination by all manner of idiotic phrases: ROC, PRC, ABC, etc. “China” does not exist. The phrase “of China” is just an attempt, in English, to identify a particular ruling party with the interests of a fictive nation. I write “Taiwan” to refer to Taiwan. If I want to refer to the government on the other side of the strait then I think I will try to limit myself from now on to “CCP.”

I suppose the Japanese “occupation” and Taiwan’s “retrocession” (gotta love that word) would be two other candidates for the misnomer menu.

Ah yes, very funny. Japan never occupied Taiwan in the way they occupied Shanghai for example. Taiwan was legally part of Japan ceded to them by the Qing. When the KMT took control, Taiwan’s retrocession would have mean it went back to the Qing, but there was no more Qing Dynasty. Do people still refer to that history in this way? If so, it is one of the more obvious revisionist propaganda of the KMT. Sounds like CCP phraseology, but then these days, t is hard to distinguish KMT propaganda from CCP propaganda.

well, one come in traditional chinese, the other in simplified, but I guess that the differences can be resumed to that.

This whole thread is predicated on the silly notion of TI/ers that the “problem” of Taiwan independence is all in the discourse and thought patterns (refer to Hobart’s last post about “part of the problem”). It’s as if this is the primary problem or root problem blocking TI, instead of just a sympton of other objective realities. This is because in the imaginary world of TI/ers, Taiwan is “already” de-jure independent, or it also may be that “want to be” independent is the same as “is” independent. Sorry buddy, it doesn’t work that way. So TI/er heads will continue to bang wall.

Zeugmite: it is no one’s imagination that Taiwan is neither Communist nor part of China. I think you need to get a grip on reality. The part of the problem I was referring to was the divisiveness of Taiwan’s political culture. There is nothing that unites them as citizens of the same country working for a common cause. It use to be the fight against an impending Communist invasion and general anti-Communism, now that the corrupt KMT is in bed with the corrupt CCP and longing for the good old days when there was no democracy in Taiwan, there is nothing that unites, only division. The real splittists in Taiwan is the CCP/KMT alliance and not the DPP as the CCP labels them.

Mr. Zeugmite, you are also the problem because you cling to the silly opium pipe dreams that Taiwan is part of China, or that you will go and invade or take over China some day. Get over it. It is not going to happen.

Yeah, it’s like how Latin Americans sometimes get pissed off at the U.S. hogging “The United States of America” all to itself, as if it were the only country in America.

Technically, isn’t Australia a non-independent country, too? They had a referendum on independence a few years back and decided by a slim majority to remain part of merry olde Angle’s Land.

Hobart has a point. The terminology is not only confusing, its totally weakens the argument.

Just like we have the CCP lackeys here who claim that TI people want war instead of better livelyhoods for their people. (Has there been one government in China of the last 1000 years that hasn’t murdered at least 100,000 people?)

Taiwan is a bastion for the free Chinese. I hope this will clarify all misnomers. :laughing:

[quote=“Hobart”]Mainland: Implies that Taiwan is a part of offshore China. They way people in the USA refer to the mainland when in Hawaii.

The first one is easy. Instead of Mainland, just called it by its name: China. What about Taiwan Independence and WSR and BSR?[/quote]
The great thing about that is it’s so ingrained that if you start summarily using “zhongguo” instead of “dalu,” even greens who support formal independence will give you sidelong glances. :wink:

On Forumosa (and only on Forumosa), I’ve noticed the usage “TI/er.” Obviously whoever came up with that had to be a nonnative English speaker – I mean, really, who would say, “She’s a Taiwan Independencer” (or “Independencist” or “Independicle” or “Independecologist,” etc.). My humble suggestion is this: instead, just say, “anyone who’s not a communist.” Wait, better yet, just say “Taiwanese.” You can use “Taiwan” instead of all the shades of Taiwan independence and “Taiwanese” and “Chinese” (possibly adding “people” if you want to add a human touch) works also for BSR and WSR. Think about it, it makes sense since “TI/er” refers carte blanche to all “Taiwanese” regardless of whether or not they actually have a view one way or the other on “independence.” The usage sure wouldn’t be anything new – if many greens are wont to say “dalu,” many blues are wont to say “Taiwanese,” even if only with a wrinkled nose. All it usually takes is a little time abroad for people of all political persuasions here to come around (“Are you Japanese?” “No, I’m Chinese.” “Oh, so where in China are you from?” “Um, I’m not, well it’s Taiwan, I mean the Republic of China, which, well back in 1911, er then in 1949, and um do you have a few hours?”).

Here are a few more misnomers:

“Pan blue.” The gloves are off, right? I mean, wouldn’t a great many KMT and PFP members rather be card-carrying CCP members than admit to being Taiwanese? Let’s be done with mid 20th century schizophrenia and just call ‘em “Pan reds.” I can almost hear Cyndi Lauper singing, “I see your twue colors shining thwough…”

“on Taiwan.” My hands-down favorite “what century and decade are YOU from” usage. Political cognitive dissonance: people who imagine themselves somehow hovering above Taiwan rather than ever actually spending any time in Taiwan (let along being born here). Actually, if you are good at visualizing, you can imagine them floating off in the distance while they speak. This is really easy to do with Soong and Lien. Ma is kinda up there jogging in the clouds - and making little circles.

“splittist.” Won’t find that one in the dictionary either. Again, I suggest “Taiwanese.”

“unification.” Switch to some combination of “annexation” and “treason.”

Then what you can do is a little creative translation. With a little practice, it’s not at all hard to do in your head on the fly (Taiwanese have been doing this for decades), and you’ll find that schizophrenic (a.k.a. colonial) language becomes far sillier than it was before. Here’s an example of how to do this with an earlier post:

Can’t you almost visualize someone hovering up in the air, shouting at the clouds?

I still think you’re approaching the problem incorrectly, since the question is not Taiwan vs China. It is really ROC vs. PRC.

There has never existed a State known as Taiwan for any prolong period of time.