What a snappy way to express frustrations!!!

Updated: 2011-04-06 08:04

By Xu Lin (China Daily)

Twitter Facebook Myspace Yahoo! Linkedin Mixx

What a snappy way to express frustrations!!!

Paoxiaoti is to the cyber world what the Howler - a red envelope that roars a recorded volley of angry words before bursting into flames - is to the magical world of Harry Potter.

Multiple exclamation marks after short declarative sentences, to express negative emotions, ending with a "yes or no", is the latest linguistic storm brewing on the Chinese internet.

Its popularity was triggered by an early-March post titled "Those kids who are tortured by French learning are too fragile to be hurt!!!".

University student Li Ke, 21, gave vent to his frustrations with learning French, scattering hundreds of exclamation marks all over his post.

"I chose French as my optional course ... But the grammar is so hard and I have to remember all the complicated rules," he says.

"The teacher teaches us French in English, which is my second foreign language. One afternoon I was doing my grammar homework. It was so difficult that I couldn't help but express my frustration online."

Copycats posts were soon all over the Internet, by all shades of language learners, claiming to be "too fragile to be hurt!!!".

Paoxiaoti, literally "roaring style", is also being resorted to by university students wishing to vent about their majors, some of which are perceived as worthless.

"I use paoxiaoti to express my views as an oil painting major. I hope people will change their stereotypical views of us," says Zhang Xue'er, a 20-year-old sophomore at Nanjing Normal University.

Xu Xiaoxiong, 23, a student of veterinary medicine in Guangzhou, concurs. "I wrote my post as I wanted others to know more about my major, which is not available in many universities," she says.

Paoxiaoti first appeared on popular SNS website in 2008, inspired by Taiwan actor Ma Jingtao's blustering style in the soap operas of the 1990s. More than 1,500 netizens joined an online "snarling" activity held soon after.

With paoxiaoti conversion software that can automatically transform words embodying strong emotion into short sentences followed by exclamation marks, they pasted many classic works, such as those by Lu Xun (1881-1936) and Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai (AD 701-762).

"I feel relieved after using paoxiaoti on my Sina Weibo and QQ. It is more cathartic to type these words rather than speaking them out," says Zhang Ning, 26, a white-collar worker from Shanghai.

"Everyone faces pressure, only the degree varies. Paoxiaoti satisfies people's need to release pressure in the virtual world," says Deng Xiquan, vice-president of Youth Research Institute, China Youth and Children Research Center.

"Paoxiaoti lets them share with others their hardships at work."


Green light

F1 sponsors expect lucrative returns from Shanghai pit stop

Buying into the romance
Born to fly
Light of hope

European Edition


Share your China stories!

Foreign readers are invited to share your China stories.

No more Mr. Bad Guy

Italian actor plans to smash ‘foreign devil’ myth and become the first white kungfu star made in China.

Art auctions

China accounted for 33% of global fine art sales.

Beloved polar bear died
Panic buying of salt
'Super moon'