Mas­ter­ing a word fight

Global Times – Metro Beijing - - TWOCENTS - By Cindy Rao Page Editor: liy­ingbj@glob­al­times.com. cn

It is im­por­tant to mas­ter your lan­guage. When I found a post on Weibo with the above de­scrip­tion, I was cu­ri­ous enough to click the pho­tos. There was a com­par­i­son of the be­gin­ning pas­sages of two ar­ti­cles from Chi­nese pop singer Xue Zhiqian and his ex-girl­friend Li Yu­tong, whose on­go­ing feud has been an on­line car­ni­val for the past cou­ple of weeks.

The be­gin­ning of Xue’s ar­ti­cle was a whole-screen long with no ac­tual sen­tences. Its Ja­panese style of para­graph seg­men­ta­tion (while writ­ten in Chi­nese), ab­sence of proper punc­tu­a­tion and abuse of el­lip­sis left an im­pres­sion of hes­i­ta­tion and chaotic logic. You need to re­ally fo­cus to fig­ure out what he wanted to say – and the con­tent was quite ir­rel­e­vant and hol­low.

Li’s ar­ti­cle be­gan with a 15word sen­tence – “It’s ab­so­lutely not a case of love for what hap­pened be­tween Xue Zhiqian and me.” It was sim­ple, pow­er­ful and to the point.

I would like to an­a­lyze the skills Li has shown in this rift for your ref­er­ence.

It’s not like we all have to fight with an ex-boyfriend who cheated on us and took our money. In ad­di­tion, it doesn’t mean I en­cour­age you to start a feud with ev­ery­body who dis­agrees with you like Tay­lor Swift and J.K. Rowl­ing. But the truth is, as long as we live there are chances that we will get hurt un­less we fight.

Here are some tips to act grace­fully in a feud (and win).

Know your en­emy as well as your­self

If you are fight­ing with some­one, think about how he/ she would re­spond. In the case of Xue and Li, they know each other well as former lovers. If you are fight­ing some or­ga­ni­za­tion, it is very im­por­tant to know the rules and

un­spo­ken rules and the best and worst re­sults you can ex­pect. Start with the best and stick to the worst.

I was go­ing on a trip for the com­ing hol­i­day to find the des­ti­na­tion had suf­fered two strong earth­quakes in a month. I had to call off the plan and it would re­sult in a se­vere fi­nan­cial loss since the flight tick­ets and ho­tels I booked were non­re­fund­able. I called a friend who works for a travel web­site to know the force ma­jeure ex­emp­tion ar­ti­cles and their in­ter­nal pro­ce­dure of cus­tomer ser­vice, the pos­si­ble out­come, etc. Her guid­ance did help in com­mu­ni­ca­tions with travel web­sites and avi­a­tion/ho­tel sup­pli­ers. Fo­cus on rea­son and ev­i­dence Some­times, sen­ti­ment and sen­sa­tion make a dif­fer­ence in a pub­lic feud be­cause the crowd of pas­sive on­look­ers doesn’t re­ally care about the truth. All they want is to en­joy the show. You could take ad­van­tage of that but there al­ways has to be a core of rea­son and truth in it, with sub­stan­tial ev­i­dence for fu­ture needs. The eye-catch­ing part in Xue and Li’s feud was that peo­ple are wait­ing for fur­ther ev­i­dence that could sup­port their ac­cu­sa­tions. Li is an ex­pert in the tim­ing and pace of re­leas­ing ev­i­dence, while Xue still needs im­prove­ment. For ex­am­ple, the screen­shots he posted were widely chal­lenged as forgery. Skill­ful use of lan­guage

Never curse or use in­de­cent words that may get you into vul­gar per­sonal abuse. As above men­tioned, it is very im­por­tant to ex­press straight­for­ward and log­i­cal ideas. Keep­ing calm and stay­ing pa­tient would make your re­sponse eas­ier to ac­cept.

With all these tips in mind, I would like to wish ev­ery­body a life with­out feuds.

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