Not that She
06 Apr 2005
I was reading an entry on Peking Duck about a man who got a harsh lesson in police “justice.” This sentence made me pause:
> She, 39, was coerced into confessing to her murder and badly beaten in prison, the China Daily said.[I’m going to completely ignore the point of the news story here. If you want to discuss it, you’ll be very welcome on Peking Duck.]
Did you find that sentence confusing at all? “She” (舍 or 佘) may be the man’s surname, but in English it’s more commonly the feminine third person singular pronoun. When it comes at the beginning of a sentence, it’s indistinguishable from the Chinese surname written in pinyin. Similarly, “He” (何 or 贺) is a Chinese surname as well. “You” (尤 or 游) can also be a Chinese name. I, We, They, Him, Her, Me, etc. are not Chinese surnames, though, so the fun ends here.
I should note that of the Chinese surnames She, He, and You, none is pronounced very similarly to its English “counterpart.” The vowel sounds especially are notably different.
Still, this seems like a great setup for wordplay of some sort. It would be a welcome change from the stale Hu/who jokes which have only recently subsided.
Anyone up for the challenge?